Monday, December 31, 2012

San Diego Pharmacy to Pay $11.4M to Settle Kickback Allegations

See other posts about doctors bought by insurance companies.

SD Pharmacy to Pay $11.4M to Settle Kickback Allegations
Alleged kickbacks included tickets to sports events, spa, golf and ski outings and expensive dinners
Dec 28, 2012

The U.S. Justice Department says a specialty pharmacy based in San Diego has agreed to pay about $11.4 million to resolve allegations it used kickbacks to induce doctors to write prescriptions for its products.

The Justice Department says under an agreement announced Thursday, Victory Pharma Inc. agreed to pay a criminal forfeiture of $1.4 million to resolve anti-kickback statute allegations and more than $9.9 million to resolve false-claims allegations.

The alleged kickbacks included tickets to sports events, concerts and plays, spa, golf and ski outings, expensive dinners and other events.

Authorities also say Victory encouraged sales representatives to schedule paid "preceptorships" in which they shadowed doctors in their offices to induce them to prescribe Victory's products.

A company phone listing could not be immediately located.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Kaiser sued for its common practice of releasing incorrect records

The medical records system at Kaiser is rather odd. It seems they often give the wrong records, or no records at all. I've received altered records from Kaiser, and a bizarre set of X-rays with many duplicates that Kaiser prepared in an apparent effort to hide the fact that most of my X-rays were missing from the set. Also, they gave Stutz, Artiano Shinoff & Holtz 20 years of my records illegally. It turned out that the woman at Kaiser who authorized the release was Facebook friends with Dan Shinoff's wife!

Man Claims Kaiser Screw-up Cost Him
Courthouse News Service
December 27, 2012

CLEVELAND (CN) - The Ohio National Guard rejected a man's application for Officer Candidate School because a Kaiser employee entered "intermittent explosive disorder" into a computer system, though he never had been diagnosed with that, the man claims in court.

Simon Montgomery sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio, Ohio Permanente Medical Group, and Constance Baker-Alden, who allegedly made the computer mistake, in Cuyahoga County Court. The National Guard is not a party to the complaint.

Montgomery claims he was diagnosed with "exercise-induced syncope" after he fainted after working out on a treadmill in February 2010. After this, his doctor had told him "that he was medically cleared for all activities and that the isolated incident should not be a cause for concern," according to the complaint.

Montgomery applied for Officer Candidate School in January 2010. To do so, he signed waivers allowing the National Guard to review his medical records.

The Guard rejected him, in a letter that said "his application for enlistment had been denied because of a permanent medical disqualification for Intermittent Explosive Disorder and exercise-induced syncope," the complaint states.

Montgomery says he appealed to the Guard, in a letter stating that the fainting episode happened just once and that the diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder was incorrect.

He claims that Baker-Alden, "as an employee of Kaiser and/or Permanente," wrote a letter to him, which he immediately forwarded to the Guard.

"This letter explained that Baker-Alden had incorrectly entered the diagnosis of Intermittent Explosive Disorder on plaintiff's medical records," the complaint states.

The Guard rejected his appeal, "because his medical records were contradictory," Montgomery says.

As a result, he says, he applied to the Naval Reserves as an enlisted man, for monthly pay of $366 less than he would have earned as an officer in the National Guard.

He seeks punitive damages for more than $25,000 for negligence.

He is represented by Ann-Marie Ahern, with McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Kaiser Urology Department in San Diego admits truth about removing the wrong kidney

In the article below, Kaiser says that its mistakes are "rare." The truth is that it is rare for Kaiser to honestly report its mistakes, and the policy of falsifying medical records is supported at the highest levels of Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical group and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.

Here's a link about how Kaiser Permanente's urology department in San Diego covers up the truth: comparison of hospital urology departments.

Also see: Kaiser kidney transplant scandal

Here's a list of recent Kaiser lawsuits taken from the Courthouse News website: Kaiser Bad News.

San Diego Kaiser Hospital Fined For Removing Wrong Kidney
City News Service
December 20, 2012

A San Diego hospital was among 10 medical centers across the state that were assessed administrative penalties today for actions that caused, or could have caused, serious injury or death to patients.

According to state Department of Public Health officials, Kaiser Foundation Hospital failed to follow surgical policies and procedures in 2010, leading to a surgeon removing the wrong kidney from an 85-year-old man.

Hospital officials said that while extensive safety measures were in place, staffers acted quickly to identify the cause of the error and implemented safety measures to help ensure such an event would not be repeated.

"We sincerely regret that this error in 2010 occurred at the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center. While these types of incidents are very rare, we take the matter extremely seriously,'' according to a hospital statement. "At the time of the incident, we immediately reported the matter to the California Department of Public Health, and fully cooperated with the investigation.''

The hospital was fined $75,000 -- the second administrative penalty the medical center has received.

The hospital was assessed a $50,000 penalty after a towel was left inside a patient who underwent surgery for gallstones in 2009, U-T San Diego reported.

The CDPH issued 12 penalties to hospitals in San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, San Rafael, Harbor City, Arcadia, Visalia, Mission Viejo, Fountain Valley and Crescent City.

Administrative penalties for incidents that happened before 2009 carried a fine of $25,000. For later incidents, $50,000 was assessed for a first violation, $75,000 for a second and $100,000 for subsequent violations. Incidents before 2009 were not included.

Hospitals were also required to provide a plan to prevent future incidents. Kaiser's plan included updated policies and procedures, and staff training "to prevent the reoccurrence of a surgical procedure being performed on a wrong body part.''

Surgeons and operating-room nurses will also ensure all relevant imaging studies are available and any surgical or invasive procedure for which an image was obtained will be available and reviewed, according to CDPH documents.

A multidisciplinary surgical safety team that meets weekly to discuss ideas for continuously promoting safe operating practices was implemented in May 2011, according to hospital officials.

Hospitals can appeal an administrative penalty by requesting a hearing within 10 days of the notification.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Flashblind: patient exposes Dr. Paul Bernstein's policy of giving lots of X-rays, but concealing the results

Dr. Paul Bernstein, left, celebrates opening of the new Garfield center in San Diego. A large series of X-rays taken at this same building two weeks later, claims Bernstein, have not been released to the patient because they were "not saved digitally or on film." Apparently patients are radiated at Kaiser, and the results are used for no purpose at all, not even research.

Dr. Paul Bernstein has scruples. He often sets them aside to pull in the big bucks as Kaiser Permanente Medical Director in San Diego, but it seems to trouble him when he harms patients in pursuit of profits.

His latest book seems to be an effort to find doctors that are worse than he is. Ironically, he relied on the Freedom of Information Act to research the book, while he supports the falsification and concealment of Kaiser medical records.

San Diego Medical Director and Author Exposes Government Experiments in New Release
Hollywood Industry
August 01, 2012

Los Angeles, California (PRWEB)

Dr. Paul Bernstein will be introducing his newest, controversial release, Flashblind, in La Jolla, discussing the grim truth behind the work of fiction, as revealed in his extensive research via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Flashblind, a medical thriller, brings to light the actual history of government sponsored radiation experiments on American citizens throughout the atomic age. Funded by the US Department of Energy--the same agency responsible for testing nuclear bombs--carefully guarded genetic research experiments were done in secret for decades.

Award-winning author and medical director for Kaiser Permenente in San Diego, Dr. Paul Bernstein will discuss this new and highly acclaimed novel, "Flashblind," at a book signing on Sunday, August 5, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Warwick's at 7812 Girard Avenue, La Jolla. Here's another story about how Kaiser handles X-rays and reports.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Family, Kaiser Reach Settlement in Malpractice Complaint in severe burns by antibiotic incorrectly administered

It's hard to imagine the burns this child suffered; click on the title below to see a photo of the injury.

Family, Kaiser Reach Settlement in Malpractice Complaint
Sonseeahray Tonsall
Dec. 5, 2012

FOX40 first reported what happened to little Mia Stevens back in September.

Then, her parents were fighting for recognition of what they say was an inexcusable mistake by Kaiser Roseville and help for the healing Mia will need in the future.

Now, they say they have both.

These days, Mia Stevens is learning how to be a great big sister to two-week-old Mya and she’s still learning how to deal with what happened to her last may at Kaiser Roseville.

She received third degree burns on her right arm when IV antibiotics were pumped into her tiny hand instead of a vein, scarring her from the inside out.

But now, along with a baby sister, the other new development in her life is a settlement with the hospital where she was hurt.

“They wanted to do all they can to help Mia and that’s all we wanted for Mia,” said her father, Charles Stevens.

Mia’s parents couldn’t sue the hospital in open court because they signed that right away, as all Kaiser patients do, when they enrolled for coverage.

They were allowed to seek relief through arbitration, something they say other parents shouldn’t be afraid to do.

“When we’re sick we need to go to the doctor, but no one’s perfect,” said Stevens. “Most medical malpractice cases are not pursued, they’re just forgotten. They’re swept under the rug, so I admire the Stevens family for saying, ‘We’re going to do something about this not only for our child, but to prevent it from happening to other children,’” said Moseley Collins, Stevens’ family attorney.

In their original demands, the Stevens family asked for extra training for nurses to stop another injury like this.

In statements to FOX40, Kaiser has said, “We are very sorry that this occurred and understand how distressing it is for Mia and her family. A situation like this should not occur.”

Settlement terms keep the Stevens from discussing specific monetary or educational concessions made by the hospital, but they’re confident all is being done so that Mia’s case stands alone.

When FOX 40 visited Mia Monday she was taking a break from wearing the compression glove that is part of her treatment to control scarring.

That is the big concern for her future along with maintaining function. Her recovery is far from over.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another naughty doctor (now congressman) wants to be in charge of women's bodies

Scott DesJarlais: 'God Has Forgiven Me' For Scandalous Past (LISTEN)
The Huffington Post
By Paige Lavender

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) told a radio host God has "forgiven" him for his scandalous past, including having an affair with a patient and later pressuring her to get an abortion.

"As far as where I stand on pro-life [issues,] I feel I have been very solid in my views," DesJarlais told conservative talk show host Ralph Bristol Saturday. "I don't think, Ralph, that I implied that there was nothing in my past. I didn’t go back and dig up all my personal shortcomings and display them. I went through this divorce a long time ago. I made a very poor decision in my first marriage. I know God's forgiven me.”

A phone call transcript first obtained by The Huffington Post revealed DesJarlais, a pro-life congressman who worked as a doctor, had slept with a women he met as a patient with a foot problem as his marriage was falling apart:

"You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," DesJarlais tells the woman at one point in the call while negotiating with her over whether he'll reveal her identity to his wife. They then discuss whether he will accompany her to a procedure to end the sort of life the congressman now describes as "sacred."

"You told me you would have time to go with me and everything," the woman complains.

"I said, if I could, I would, didn't I? And I will try," DesJarlais says. "If I can [find] time, you're saying you still will?"

"Yeah," the woman answers.

The two bicker over when they can meet to hash out a solution, and they make clear the nature of their relationship when DesJarlais says delaying a resolution isn't fair to his wife.

"This is not fair to me. I don't want you in my life," the woman says.

"Well, I didn't want to be in your life either, but you lied to me about something that caused us to be in this situation, and that's not my fault, that's yours," the doctor responds.

"Well, it's [your] fault for sleeping with your patient," the woman fires back.

DesJarlais has acknowledged the conversation, but said he was only trying to get her to admit she wasn't pregnant. He easily won a second term despite the controversy.

More scandal from DesJarlais' past emerged when court documents revealed he and his former wife made a "mutual" decision for her to have two abortions. DesJarlais testified during divorce proceedings that the first abortion was was because she was taking an experimental drug that carried potential risks in pregnancy; the second came as the couple experienced problems in their relationship.

An American James Bond and a killer bag lady--and doctors from Stanford and U W

I recommend clicking on the title of the article below to read the entire story. It's too amazing to describe in a nutshell, and it is much longer than the clips I've provided. Along with evil doctors, it involves Ronald Reagan's CIA director William Casey, a young Chuck Schumer as investigator, and the remarkable career of a suave banker from Transylvania. It even involves the company that bankrolls Glenn Beck.

James Bond and the killer bag lady
New clues and a powerful Wall St. skeptic challenge the official story of CIA financier Nick Deak's brutal murder
DEC 2, 2012

On the morning of Nov. 19, 1985, a wild-eyed and disheveled homeless woman entered the reception room at the legendary Wall Street firm of Deak-Perera. Carrying a backpack with an aluminum baseball bat sticking out of the top, her face partially hidden by shocks of greasy, gray-streaked hair falling out from under a wool cap, she demanded to speak with the firm’s 80-year-old founder and president, Nicholas Deak.

The 44-year-old drifter’s name was Lois Lang...

New revelations about Lois Lang’s transformation from homecoming queen to homeless killer provide excellent grist for substantive speculation, if not the basis for officially reopening the Deak case.

A standout college athlete with an M.A. from the University of Illinois, Lang married in the mid-’60s and took a job coaching the University of California-Santa Barbara women’s tennis and fencing teams. An old U.C.-Santa Barbara yearbook shows coach Lang standing tall in a team photo. It was around this time that she began losing her mind, seeing “fakes” all around her, strangers whom she accused of pretending to be family members, her husband and, at an open-casket funeral, her mother’s corpse.

In 1970, the university declined to renew her coaching contract. Lang and her husband soon divorced. Her life quickly became a blur. Lang complained of “amnesia” and said that her ex-husband’s business partner moved her into an apartment in Mountain View, Calif., where she lived on “grants” and “took flying lessons.” (Moffett Field Naval Base and NASA’s Ames Research Center are located there). She told psychiatrists in 1985 that this business partner, or his “fakes,” took her to Deak’s offices at 29 Broadway in 1971. She said that “friends” taught her marksmanship at firing ranges. In August 1975, records show that Lang was discovered naked and catatonic in a Santa Clara motel room. (Neither Lang’s ex-husband nor his “business partner” could be located. Lang, who is imprisoned at a federal facility two hours north of New York City, did not respond to interview requests.)

Police responding to the motel room took Lang to nearby Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. For the next month, she was put under the care of Dr. Frederick Melges, a psychiatrist associated with the Stanford Research Institute. One of Dr. Melges’ main areas of research: drug-aided hypnosis. A few years after Lang was put in Melges’ care, the New York Times exposed the Stanford Research Institute as a center for CIA research into “brain-washing” and “mind-control” experiments in which unwitting subjects were dosed with hallucinogenic drugs and subjected to hypnosis. Melges, who died in 1988, is today remembered in the field for his research on the relationship between perceptions of time and mental illness.

Congressional hearings subsequently uncovered a large network of top-secret CIA-funded psychological warfare programs grouped loosely under the project name MK-ULTRA. These programs today sound like absurd cloak-and-dagger relics of “Twilight Zone”-inflected Cold War hysteria. But the people running these programs, which continued until at least 1979, were often leading researchers backed by the U.S. government. Enormous resources were committed to the study of how human behavior might be controlled for the purpose of interrogation and the creation of “programmed” assassins and couriers. In a detailed roundup of MK-ULRA-related operations, Psychology Today explained that the CIA “conducted or sponsored at least 419 secret drug-testing projects” at “86 United States and Canadian hospitals, prisons, universities, and military installations,” and that “by the agency’s own admission, many [experimental subjects] were ‘unwitting’.”

The Stanford Research Institute received CIA funding, and Dr. Melges published work about using drugs and hypnosis to create “disassociative states,” i.e., induced schizophrenia. One of Melges’ partners on these experiments was a doctor named Leo E. Hollister, who first dosed Ken Kesey with LSD as part of an Army experiment in 1960. He later admitted to author John Marks that he conducted drug research for the CIA. Marks’ 1979 book, “The Search for the Manchurian Candidate,” contains numerous such revelations about other government researchers.

In other words, the doctor who cared for Lang in Santa Clara was a senior figure at one of the CIA’s top institutional grantees. He worked side-by-side with a self-identified CIA collaborator, and conducted research into the kind of drug-induced behavior modification that the agency is known to have funded.

Following her release from Melges’ care, Lang began a long period as a drifter, leaving behind a record typical of such a life: petty crimes, arrests, stints in and out of psychiatric hospitals. Her only known job was at the once famously mobbed-up Harrah’s casino on the Nevada-California border (where Frank Sinatra’s son was kidnapped in 1963). By the early 1980s, Lang drifted north to her birthplace and spent her last free years lurking around the University of Washington campus wearing a feathered Robin Hood cap. Occasionally she was arrested and sent to one of the nearby mental hospitals before making her way back again. A local police officer told the New York Times after her arrest in 1985 that Lang “usually had money,” despite roaming “the [university] campus in unkempt clothes, usually wearing a green felt Tyrolean-style hat.” Once the police found more than $800 in her possession.

As with Stanford, the university employed a military-linked behavioral psychiatrist, Dr. Donald Dudley, who later became infamous for carrying out experiments in behavior modification. Dudley taught there from the 1960s through the early 1990s, and also worked at nearby mental institutions where Lang was periodically committed. The landmark lawsuit that ended Dudley’s career revealed that Dudley’s hobby was taking patients brought to him for lesser mental illnesses, pumping them full of drugs, hypnotizing them, and trying to turn them into killers.

We know this thanks to a suit brought by the family of Stephen Drummond, who entered Dudley’s care in 1989 for autism treatment. He was returned to his family in 1992 suffering from severe catatonia. According to lawsuit testimony, Dudley shot Drummond up with sodium amytal and hypnotized him with the intention of “erasing” a portion of his brain and turning him into an assassin. When Drummond’s mother confronted Dudley, the mad scientist threatened to have her killed, claiming he worked for the CIA. Dudley was arrested soon after the confrontation in a local hotel where he had shacked up to “treat” a suicidal 15-year-old drifter. Dudley had given the boy sodium amytal and several other drugs, hypnotized him, and convinced him that he was part of a secret army of assassins. Police were called in when the boy threatened hotel staff with a .44 caliber handgun. Not long after, Dudley died in state custody and his estate was forced to pay the largest psychotherapy negligence lawsuit in history. During the trial, it emerged that Dudley had possibly subjected hundreds of victims to similar experiments. Lang was not mentioned...