Our new round-up features arrests, criminal proceedings, and other reports alleging improper or questionable conduct by healthcare professionals.
More felony charges were filed against a Montana family physician after three women say he sexually assaulted them during office visits. The new charges add to a pair of “felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent, three felony counts of sexual servitude for allegedly using prescription pain pills for coercion, and two counts of misdemeanor sexual assault,” according to a report in the Montana Standard.
A third wrongful death lawsuit was filed this week against Ohio intensive care doctor William Husel, MD, according to reports from the Associated Press. Following an internal investigation at the Columbus health system where he worked, Husel was fired for allegedly ordering potentially fatal doses of pain medicine for at least 27 patients over the past 3 years.
Fresh off a 10-year sentence last month for enticing a minor, a former University of Michigan pediatric rheumatologist has pled no contest to two counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two former patients, with one of the counts carrying a possible 15-year sentence. (MLive.com)
A Florida surgeon was fined $3,000 over a “medically unnecessary” procedure, when during a spinal fusion he and his surgical team mistakenly removed a woman’s pelvic kidney thinking it was a cancerous mass. (The Gazette)
University of Cincinnati Medical Center’s head of surgery was reassigned to a research position following a Title IX complaint and allegations that he’d fostered a toxic work environment “full of racism and sexism,” according to a report from Local 12 News. While one Title IX investigation recommended disciplinary action, a second cleared him of discrimination and harassment but said his conduct could have been viewed as “disrespectful” and “intimidating.”
A West Virginia physician was sentenced to over 7 years and fined more than half a million dollars for his role in a money laundering scheme at the Beckley HOPE Clinic, an alleged pill mill. Prosecutors say the physician admitted to doling out at least 98 prescriptions for controlled pain meds that served no “legitimate medical purpose.” (AP News)
Meanwhile, a California pain specialist and his girlfriend/assistant were charged with 15 counts ranging from distributing powerful painkillers to conspiracy to launder money, and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. The couple allegedly traveled to Pennsylvania every few months to write illicit prescriptions for the highly addictive opioids for up to 60 people a day, with pricing (up to $700 a script) varying based on the dose. (Marin Independent Journal)
An Alabama-based chiropractor was sentenced to 3 years in prison for conducting fraudulent physical exams required for commercial driver’s licenses by the Department of Transportation, a scheme that reportedly netted him over $200,000. Instead of performing the examinations, the chiropractor simply took the applicants’ cash and signed their paperwork, or had staff rubber-stamp it for him. (Tuscaloosa News)
A former physician assistant (PA) could get 10 years in jail and face a fine of up to $250,000 after pleading guilty in a Florida federal court this week to his role in a $1 billion healthcare fraud scheme. The PA and a pair of physicians allegedly took in Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries into a network of skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities (even if the patients didn’t qualify), gave them unneeded treatments, and then charged CMS. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
In Michigan, a surgeon was charged with fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic by performing unnecessary back injections while cheating Medicare, according to Detroit News. Now, this alleged mastermind of a $500 million healthcare fraud case could be granted one of the largest bonds ever issued by a federal judge — capping out at $10 million. The surgeon is hoping not to have to dip too far into his $8.5 million retirement account to cover the bond.