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;

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Michigan Oncologist Dr. Farid Fata – Medicare Fraud, Villian or Cancer Patient Savior?

 On August 6, 2013, a Criminal Complaint was filed against Michigan Oncologist Dr. Farid Fata in Federal Court in the county of Oakland in the Eastern District of Michigan.  The Defendant was charged by the U.S. Government with Healthcare Fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1347.

In an affidavit in support of the Complaint, Special Agent Brian Fairweather who was employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) alleges the following violations:

  • Healthcare Fraud – 18 U.S.C. 1347
  • Distribution of Controlled Substances – 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1)
  • Money Laundering – 18 U.S.C. 1956 and 18 U.S.C. 1957
  • Payment or receipt of Healthcare Kickbacks – 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7(b)(1)(A) and 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7(b)(2)(A)

More specifically, the Complaint alleges the following:

  • Administration of unnecessary chemotherapy to patients in remission
  • Deliberate misdiagnosis of patients having cancer to justify unnecessary cancer treatment
  • Administration of chemotherapy to end-of-life patients who will not benefit from the treatment
  • Deliberate misdiagnosis of patients with cancer to justify expensive testing
  • Fabrication of other diagnoses such as anemia and fatigue to justify unnecessary hematology treatments
  • Distribution of controlled substances to patients without medical necessity

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Medical Marijuana Bill in Illinois

According to a recent The New York Times article entitled “Illinois: Medical Marijuana Bill Advances”, on April 17, 2013, the State House of Representatives voted 61 to 57 to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions. The legislation goes to the State Senate. A similar version was approved by State Senate in 2009.

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