Monday, August 12, 2013

Doctor falsely diagnoses patients with cancer so he can give treatment, collect Medicare

Michigan doctor arrested for purposely misdiagnosing cancer
by Jen Hayden
Daily Kos
Aug 07, 2013

Greed knows no bounds. It pushes people to do unspeakable things. For Dr. Farid Fata, a Michigan oncologist, there were no limits:

Dr. Farid Fata, 48, of Oakland Township was arrested Tuesday and charged for allegedly submitting false claims to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary, including chemotherapy treatments, Positron Emission Tomograph (PET) scans and a variety of cancer and hematology treatments for patients who did not need them. Dr. Fata owns and operates Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers (MHO) which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park.

Dr. Fata was scamming Medicare to the tune of $35 million.

In the course of the scheme, prosecutors say Dr. Fata falsified and directed others to falsify documents. MHO billed Medicare for approximately $35 million dollars over a two-year period, approximately $25 of which is attributable to Dr. Fata, federal officials said.

The complaint further alleges that Dr. Fata directed the administration of unnecessary chemotherapy to patients in remission; deliberate misdiagnosis of patients as having cancer to justify unnecessary cancer treatment; administration of chemotherapy to end-of-life patients who will not benefit from the treatment; deliberate misdiagnosis of patients without cancer to justify expensive testing; fabrication of other diagnoses such as anemia and fatigue to justify unnecessary hematology treatments, and distribution of controlled substances to patients without medical necessity or are administered at dangerous levels.

Dr. Fata was prescribing painful and unnecessary treatments to patients:

The feds say he also deliberately misdiagnosed patients “as having cancer to justify unnecessary cancer treatment,” WXYZ reported.

Federal agents say Fata directed the “administration of chemotherapy to end-of-life patients who [would] not benefit from the treatment,” and deliberately misdiagnosed “patients without cancer to justify expensive testing.”

Thankfully, Dr. Fata isn't likely to get out of jail any time soon:

Dr. Fata faced a federal magistrate Tuesday afternoon. Assistant U. S. Attorneys assigned to the case argued Fata is a flight risk because he has access to about $14 million in liquid assets and a home in Lebanon. The magistrate is temporarily detaining Fata until another hearing can be held on Thursday. He faces up to 20 years behind bars if he’s convicted.

Twenty years? Not long enough. Not nearly long enough.

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