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No Discipline for Vandy Nurse; ‘Operation Hypocritical Oath’; Craigslist Rx Deals

This weekly roundup features arrests, criminal proceedings, and other reports alleging improper or questionable conduct by healthcare professionals.

Tennessee health officials decided against professional discipline for the Vanderbilt nurse whose now-famous medication error killed a patient. RaDonda Vaught, RN, still faces criminal prosecution, however; she pleaded not guilty to charges of reckless homicide and impaired adult abuse. (Nashville Tennessean)

Three women filed a suit against psychiatrist and former Fox News contributor Keith Ablow, MD, for alleged sexual misconduct; one accused him of forced oral sex during therapy sessions and another said he coerced her to get his initials tattooed on her body as a sign of his “ownership.” (Boston Globe)

Agreeing to pay upwards of $18 million in allowed claims, Vanguard Healthcare resolved a state and federal lawsuit alleging five of the Tennessee-based company’s skilled nursing facilities provided “grossly substandard” or “worthless” services such as placing unnecessary physical restraints on residents and failing to provide wound care. (

Two California doctors and a nurse practitioner were charged with diverting highly addictive opioids to the black market in part of a yearlong DEA-run investigation called Operation Hypocritical Oath, which has thus far snagged more than 40 physicians. (Patch)

Also, seven medical professionals were arrested for prescribing opioids in Hawaii as part of the same investigation and the “epic” probe may soon result in arrests in Nevada too. (National Pain Report)

A former University of Michigan physician accused of child pornography and sexual misconduct was given 5 to 15 years for combined charges of second- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to one of the two victims. The sentencing follows a prior trial in which he was sentenced to an additional 10 years for online enticement of a minor. (Ann Arbor News)

An internal medicine doctor and a hospital owner in Texas were convicted in a multi-million dollar healthcare fraud scheme in which they subjected patients (who had purchased weight loss shots through Groupon) to a series of unnecessary medical tests and afterwards forged their assessment documents to make them appear sicker and obtain higher reimbursement rates. (

OSF HealthCare’s St. Francis hospital in Peoria, Illinois, was found guilty in a $2.5-million medical malpractice case involving a woman’s pacemaker lead explantation that went fatally awry. (25 News, Peoria Journal Star)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an executive order suspending the Port Richey mayor who had allegedly been practicing medicine without a licence and was recently charged with attempted homicide when he shot at SWAT officers during a home raid. (The Independent)

After an Indiana physician was charged with molesting a 12-year-old boy during an examination, two additional children came forward with allegations that police have said were “similar” to what was found in the original case. (Indy Star)

A Detroit medical resident with an expired license allegedly stole two doctors’ identities in order to create fraudulent prescriptions for himself and others, which he then advertised on Craigslist as “Party favors, Rx, Or whatever you need.” (Detroit Free Press)

A former Rutgers University’s medical school professor accused of photographing intimate parts of more than two dozen women in the bathroom was charged with official misconduct, impersonation, and computer theft. (AP News)