Medical misconduct often involves civil liability in the form of a medical malpractice lawsuit, but, in some cases, medical misconduct can also result in criminal charges. Just last month, a federal grand jury indicted four former officials and four physicians at the now-defunct Sacred Heart Hospital in connection with an alleged scheme to pay doctors for patient referrals. Prosecutors have accused the defendants of engaging in the illegal kickback scheme to increase hospital revenue by treating more patients.
As we reported, in April 2013, two senior executives and four physicians affiliated with Chicago’s Sacred Heart Hospital were arrested for alleged kickback conspiracy, as well as allegedly performing medically unnecessary sedation, intubation and tracheotomy procedures (tracheotomies involve several risks associated with cutting a hole in a patient’s throat to improve airflow).
Healthcare fraud often involves kickbacks for patient referrals, but it can also involve unnecessary treatment and procedures, such as the alleged unnecessary tracheotomies performed at Sacred Heart Hospital. According to Dr. Gary Null, author of “Death by Medicine,” an estimated 7.5 million unnecessary surgical procedures are performed each year, most frequently involving coronary bypass, hysterectomy, prostate surgery, and cesarean section. Moreover, in “Under the Influence of Modern Medicine,” Terry Rondberg concluded that more than half of all surgeries performed are medically unnecessary.
In other cases, healthcare fraud involves medical treatment that is not performed or supervised by a doctor as required by law. For instance, earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a group of radiation oncology providers in Florida had agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations that they billed Medicare and Medicaid for radiation oncology services that were not supervised by a physician, as required by Medicare and Medicaid laws. Instead, the radiation oncology services were frequently performed while the defendant doctors were on vacation or were working at another radiation oncology clinic.
If you have received an unnecessary medical procedure, received medical treatment that was not supervised by a doctor, or suspect that your medical treatment may have been tainted by healthcare fraud, you might have a medical malpractice claim against the physician and other defendants. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, post-operative expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and possible punitive damages.
At Cogan & Power, P.C., our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to protecting the victims of medical malpractice, whether the result of medical negligence or fraud. We are dedicated to protecting injured victims and their families, and have obtained record setting and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of our injured clients.
If you think that you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice or medical fraud, contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to speak with one of our skilled Chicago medical malpractice lawyers.