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Big Medical: Cancer Doctor Indicted for Billing for Unnecessary Chemo Treatments

21st Century Wire says…

Of course this is bad. No, it’s worse than bad.

The Cancer Industrial Complex is powerful and the treatments generate billions a year in profits. Naturally, there is a strong financial incentive for everyone along this supply chain to get “creative” with the chemo treatments.

Here, the focus of anger is on Dr. Farid Fata, and well it should be. But the larger picture which mainstream pundits are missing is how an industry like the Cancer Industrial Complex has been able to create a monopoly (enforced by law) through charging so much for something which can be so deadly for humans. After sucking all the billions for so many years from the middle classes, you’d think they’d have found a better way by now.

Imagine how this might fester under Obamacare…


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Medicare Fraud Horror: Cancer Doctor Indicted for Billing Unnecessary Chemo

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Kate Pickert
The Nation

Michigan oncologist Farid Fata allegedly squeezed profits out of patients by prescribing unneeded treatments and inventing diagnoses

Undergoing chemotherapy when you have cancer can be a terrible experience. Undergoing chemotherapy unnecessarily when you don’t have cancer is worse.

That’s what happened to some patients of a Detroit-area oncologist, according to federal investigators, who say the physician netted millions of dollars from Medicare by needlessly treating people for various ailments, including cancer. Indicted Wednesday on a charge of Medicare fraud, Dr. Farid Fata is being held in a Detroit jail on $9 million bond.

“We have been trained to trust doctors with our lives,” says Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, who is helping prosecute Fata. “When you see a case like this, it’s startling.”

The Fata case, which is being investigated and prosecuted under the direction of a task force run jointly by the federal departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, is highly unusual. Typical Medicare fraud cases involve health care providers billing the government for services that were never delivered. Some fraudulent providers buy Medicare ID numbers on the street. Others pad billings to increase profits or procure medications to sell illegally. Many are found out when federal investigators spot anomalies in their billings. But Fata appears to have been charged after whistleblowers approached federal authorities with information that he was potentially injuring patients just to up profits. McQuade, whose office has prosecuted numerous Medicare fraud cases in Detroit, says she’s seen lots of schemes but “nothing as egregious as this.”

(MORE: The Secretive Group Behind Medicare Reimbursements)

According to a criminal complaint filed on August 6 and based on an investigation by the FBI, Fata routinely prescribed chemotherapy and other drastic medical interventions for patients who were either healthy, or ill but in need of alternate treatments. He did so purely to increase his own income, according to prosecutors, who say Fata billed Medicare for some $150 million in services between August 2010 and July 2013, some of it fraudluently. The complaint, based on interviews with several nurse practitioners, medical assistants and an oncologist who worked for Fata, reads like a horror novel.

The oncologist told the FBI of one patient who received chemotherapy under Fata’s care, even though the patient was in remission. The oncologist advised the patient to get a second opinion and he or she never returned to see Fata. The oncologist also told the FBI that Fata ordered chemotherapy for all of his end-of-life patients, even if the treatment would not improve or extend their lives. The oncologist told the FBI, “no other physician would do this and would let the patient die in peace.”…

Read more: http://nation.time.com/2013/08/15/medicare-fraud-horror-cancer-doctor-indicted-for-billing-unnecessary-chemo/#ixzz2cEU1ljGt

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