Diagnosis: Fraud

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We rely on doctors to correctly diagnose our ailments and prescribe the right treatment to cure our maladies. An article published on WXYZ.com tells the story of a Detroit-area physician who fraudulently billed Medicare for $35 million in services. The services were actually performed, but unfortunately for his patients, the treatment was actually worse than the disease.

The 48-year-old cancer specialist carried out his fraudulent scheme by first intentionally misdiagnosing hundreds of his patients. He then provided unnecessary treatment including high doses of chemotherapy to some who never had cancer in the first place. (As you might guess, he then billed Medicare for the unnecessary services.)

The doctor pleaded guilty to a total of 16 counts including 13 counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of money laundering and one kickback count. It is possible that his guilty plea may mean his case will not go to trial. Unfortunately, for the victims’ families, this means they may never get answers to their questions or closure from their loved ones’ horrific experiences with the criminal. (Some family members think the doctor should be charged with murder, although the article states there was not enough information to charge him.)

In this tragic case, it is a pretty good guess that the doctor did not act alone. (Family members speculate that other medical professionals had to be ”in” on the fraudulent scheme.) This criminal not only stole money from the government, but from some of the very taxpayers he treated. This fraudster put a price on his patients’ heads ($35 million to be exact) which doesn’t even come close to making up for the lives he stole from his patients and their loved ones.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Dr. Farid Fata Pleads Guilty to 16 Counts of Healthcare Fraud, Misdiagnosing Patients,” written by Tara Edwards and published on WXYZ.com on September 16, 2014.

Dr. Farid Fata, the cancer specialist who was indicted for intentionally misdiagnosing patients, has pleaded guilty to 13 counts of health care fraud, two counts of money laundering and one kickback count.

Federal agents arrested the 48-year-old Oakland Township doctor last August at his Rochester Hills practice.

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Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.