Showing posts with label hospice abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hospice abuse. Show all posts

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Doc gets 4 years in prison for multi-million dollar hospice scheme

Eileen Decker, US Attorney

A California physician who falsely certified more than 70 patients as terminally ill in order to refer them for hospice care was sentenced to four years in federal prison last week. He will also pay $1.3 million in restitution.

Boyao Huang, 43, is one of two physicians convicted as part of a $8.8 million fraud scheme operated by Covina Hospice Care of Covina, CA. Huang and the second doctor, Sri Wijegoonaratna, 61, conducted “assessments” for patients and certified them as terminally ill, regardless of the assessment's outcome.

At least 79 Medicare and Medi-Cal beneficiaries were deemed terminally ill and referred to CHC, “even though the vast majority of them were not dying,” the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California said in a press release.

"This scheme preyed upon dozens of patients and their families who were led to believe that their worst nightmare had come true — that they had life-ending illnesses,” U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said in the statement.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

No on ABX2-15: A Response to Comments Made at Recent Committee Hearings.

1.  New Mexico no longer allows physician-assisted suicide.

2.  Under ABX2-15, requiring the patient to meet alone with the doctor as a protection against undue influence, is not necessarily a safeguard.  See § 443.5(a)(4).  Consider, for example, if the doctor, himself or herself, has an interest in seeing the patient gone. For example, if the doctor botched the patient’s case and wants to eliminate the liability by eliminating the patient.

3. ABX2-15 protects patients by providing that doctors may be sanctioned by their licensing board or agency. See § 443.16(c). Doctors, however, are notoriously bad at policing themselves. For an extreme example, there is the case of Michael Swango MD, who thrill-killed his patients. When hospital administrators became aware of a potential problem, they simply let him go, leaving him free to get another job and start killing again.  See James B. Stewart, “ Blind Eye: How the Medical Establishment Let a Doctor Get Away with Murder,” 1999.

4.  Under ABX2-15, a bad doctor like Swango would be additionally aided by “blanket immunity.“ See Committee Staff Analysis for the Assembly Committee on Public Health and Developmental Services, p. 17 (“the bill provides blanket immunity for health care providers ... even in instances where their actions are grossly negligent”).