From: Herbert Chen, M.D. (e-mail him)
With the onset of Obamacare and with the "shortage" of doctors the story below, in which immigrant doctors and pharmacists are charged with fraud and overprescribing, will probably repeat itself in the coming years.
The hospitals are now the main employers of doctors, and with the hospitals` desire for cheap (foreign) labor this story is sure to heard over and over.
By Robert Lowes, Medscape.com,March 27, 2013
The mastermind behind a massive healthcare fraud scheme centered in Detroit, Michigan, is behind bars, but the roundup of underlings continues with the recent federal indictment of 5 more physicians and 4 more pharmacists in the case.
In February, pharmacist Babubhai "Bob" Patel, RPh, was sentenced in a federal district court to 17 years in prison for running an operation that submitted nearly $20 million worth of fraudulent prescription claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers over 5 years in addition to illegally distributing millions of opioid painkillers and other controlled substances. Patel bribed physicians to write medically unnecessary scripts and steer patients to fill them at one of his 26 pharmacies, where the guiding principle, in Patel`s words, was, "If you are strict, you never make money," according to court records. Patel`s "marketers" recruited patients to participate in the scheme and rewarded them with narcotics for their cooperation.
A federal grand jury indicted Patel along with 4 physicians, 1 psychologist, 12 pharmacists, and 9 others in August 2011 on fraud and drug charges. Patel and 5 other defendants were convicted in a jury trial last year, and 15 more have pleaded guilty. That latter group includes Paul Petre, MD, and Mustak Vaid, MD.
Additional physicians named as defendants in the new indictment are Richard Utarnachitt, MD; Ruben Benito, MD; Javaid Bashir; MD; Carl Fowler, MD; and Rajat Daniel, MD. Prosecutors allege that all 5 physicians prescribed medications that were filled at Patel`s pharmacies, and that Dr. Fowler and Dr. Daniel also referred patients to the home health agencies .[More]
James Fulford writes: It turns out that all the doctors named in the last paragraph above are minorities. (Dr. Carl Fowler is an African-American, not an immigrant, and while Utarnachitt sounds vaguely German, it’s actually Asian.) The opportunity to get “excellent” foreign doctors cheap is one of the justifications urged for mass immigration, although very few immigrants are doctors, and those who are are frequently dangerous.