Cost of Obtaining Medical Records is the Latest Obstacle in the Pursuit of Medical Malpractice Claims Against Imprisoned Michigan Oncologist Dr. Farid Fata

Imagine losing a family member or loved one to what you thought was a cancer related death.  One day you read in the newspaper that the Oncologist, Michigan doctor Farid Fata, has been charged with massive Medicare fraud, including giving $35 million in needless chemotherapy to patients. Now you are questioning whether or not the treatments provided by Dr. Fata were in fact even necessary and if those treatments could have been the cause of death.

Jeff Burrs lost his father to kidney failure which occurred during chemotherapy treatments that had been prescribed by Dr. Fata.  Mr. Burrs is now requesting his father’s medical records from Crittenton Hospital in Rochester and has learned the following:

  • Request will take 7-13 days to process;
  • Mr. Burrs will be invoiced a bill for the medical record request;
  • The hospital policy is that when a patient requests medical records for treatment purposes, there is no charge for the service of providing those records.  If the request however; is for personal or legal reasons, there will be a charge to provide the records;
  • Crittenton Hospital uses Medical Records Online, Inc. (“MRO”), a third party provider based in Pennsylvania,  to fulfill all medical record requests;

Mr. Burrs believes that the hospital policy is unfair as he and all of the other Dr. Fata victims have a unique set of circumstances that should prompt the hospital to waive all medical record request charges. They have all been subjected to massive Medicare Fraud by Dr. Fata.  Although Mr. Burrs does not yet know how much his request will cost, Patience (“Patty”) Parzych, a Detroit nurse, has already received her bill in the amount of $1,071.09.

Patients of the indicted cancer doctor and family members of former patients protested Saturday outside the hospital, rallying against the “outrageous” costs of getting their medical records. Many carried signs encouraging drivers passing by to “honk for justice.” Many signs showed pictures of deceased loved ones.

Barbara Laboisonniere’s father Sydney allegedly received chemo he didn’t need from Dr. Fata. Doctors originally told Sydney, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, to enjoy his last four to six months with his family. Dr. Fata, however, allegedly promised to prolong his life to 12 months. After aggressive rounds of chemo with only week breaks in between, Sydney died on the experimental treatment.

Diane Sawgle is one of the many family victims who wants answers. When her husband Richard passed away in 2009, he had gotten just three chemotherapy treatments and had gone from apparently healthy to life support within a month. He had been diagnosed myelodysplasia, a rare blood disease, by Dr. Farid Fata and started getting treatments. Within a month, he was dead at 65 years old. According to Sawgle, her husband was tired but he wasn’t even sick.
Undoubtedly there will be many other families who will also seek medical records to find out whether or not their loved ones received treatments that were necessary for their illness.  We at Legal Bistro would encourage Crittenton Hospital to waive their policy of charging all Dr. Fata patients for medical records as the circumstances for such requests are very unusual and the families have already suffered greatly.

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