April 24, 2014

Arrested Doctor Deliberately Misdiagnosed Patients with Cancer for Profit

doctor crimes1 Arrested Doctor Deliberately Misdiagnosed Patients with Cancer for Profit

By: Heather Catallo
ABC – WXYZ

Excerpts:

Dr. Farid Fata’s website for his Michigan Hematology Oncology practice promises the “Best Cancer Care – Anywhere.” But, U. S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says otherwise.

Federal agents arrested the 48-year-old Oakland Township doctor at his Rochester Hills practice. McQuade says he’s charged with healthcare fraud for his role in a scheme to submit false claims to Medicare for treatments that were medically unnecessary. McQuade says the fraud scheme involves $35 million.

Federal officials are alleging an even worse crime than cheating Medicare — in their criminal complaint against Fata, FBI agents say “Dr. Fata directed the administration of unnecessary chemotherapy to patients in remission.”

The feds say he also deliberately misdiagnosed patients “as having cancer to justify unnecessary cancer treatment.”

Federal agents say Fata directed the “administration of chemotherapy to end-of-life patients who [would] not benefit from the treatment,” and deliberately misdiagnosed “patients without cancer to justify expensive testing.”

Federal agents say Dr. Fata owns and operates Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers (MHO) which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, and Oak Park.

“I think it’s terrible if he’s giving them therapy and they didn’t have cancer,” said 85 year old Pat Winowiski. She’s fighting cancer in her lungs and liver and she’s shocked her doctor was arrested Tuesday.

“I trusted him,” said patient Terri Mitchell

“Are you going to get a second opinion now,” asked 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.

“Yes I am,” said Mitchell.

After more than 7 years of treatment with Dr. Fata, Mitchell says she’s starting to doubt her diagnosis.

“I can’t understand – I’ve talked to many people and they’ve said I don’t understand why you’re still on Retuximab for the last 7 years – cause he told me at the beginning it would be a year of treatment and 2 years of maintenance,” said Mitchell.

It’s clear from court records that current and former employees have turned into informants – concerned about what was happening to patients. One described working for Fata as “living with this hell.”
Read the Full Story Here: http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/oakland_county/doctor-arrested-offices-raided-by-fbi-in-connection-to-healthcare-fraud-charges

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