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Medical malpractice: The alarming number of doctors busted for bribery

November 29, 2016

From a recent article in NJ.com:  “In two courtrooms less than an hour’s drive apart, two doctors were sent to prison recently for putting greed ahead of the welfare of patients. One, Paresh Patel, an internal medicine doctor from Jamesburg, will spend a year in prison for allowing a lab to pay his property taxes and home remodeling bills in return for giving the lab his patients’ diagnostic work.  While officials say there is no evidence that physicians are more prone to crime than in the past, physicians have been in front of judges in federal and state courts with alarming frequency this past year. Officials have also raised concerns about the unusually large scope of some of the cases and the widespread extent of the problem.”

“While most physicians are in the field because they want to improve and save lives, some are motivated by the thought of a big pay day,” said Dr. Charles Rosen of the Association of Medical Ethics. With reimbursements being squeezed, some may have turned to illegal means to maintain the lifestyle they expected, he said. “They really have an expectation that they’re going to make a huge amount of money.”  But fraud not only hurts taxpayers, it also harms competition in the marketplace and raises the likelihood that physicians will order unnecessary procedures on patients and corrupts their medical judgment.  U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler addressed Bret Ostrager, a New York family physician who was about to be sentenced to a prison term for taking kickbacks from a lab looking to get his patients’ blood work:  “You forgot the oath you took when you became a doctor,” Chesler said from the bench in his Newark courtroom. “It wasn’t to make as much money as possible. It was to serve your patients.”

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Read more here: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/06/lab_olympus_cases_show_doctors_not_immune_to_corru.html

 

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