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medical 13 articles

QLaser Fraud Scheme Ends With Prison Sentences

A South Dakota man who made $16.6 million selling fraudulent medical devices called QLasers to the elderly and others with medical problems has been sentenced to prison. South Dakota federal judge Roberto A. Lange sentenced Robert “Larry” Lytle, 83, of Rapid City, to 12 years in prison, followed by two years’ supervised release for organizing and leading the fraud scheme. Mr. Lytle pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to introduce misbranded medical devices into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead and one count of criminal contempt. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. ... Read More

Greyhound Bus Crash Kills Girl, Injures 12 Others in Utah

A Greyhound bus veered off the shoulder of I-70 in Utah late New Year’s Eve, killing a 13-year-old girl and injuring a dozen others, including three in serious condition. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators are on their way to the scene of the Greyhound bus crash in Emery County in the central part of Utah. The Utah Highway Patrol said in a news release that the Greyhound bus was traveling west on Interstate 70 to Las Vegas when it careened off the highway about 11 p.m. Sunday. “The bus traveled into a steep wash and came to rest approximately ... Read More

Litigation swells in chemical exposure from 2012 bridge collapse, train derailment

Lawsuits alleging personal injury and financial losses continue to mount against Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) and affiliated rail companies after a 2012 bridge failure in Paulson, N.J., sent four tanker cars laden with vinyl chloride into New Jersey’s Mantua Creek, a waterway that feeds into the Delaware River. A group of 27 plaintiffs, including individuals, businesses, and business owners, accuse the Consolidated Rail Corp., CSX Transportation Inc., and Norfolk Southern Railway Co. of negligence in overseeing and maintaining the bridge, which collapsed on Nov. 20. The bridge failure derailed 82 Conrail freight cars and released more than 12,000 gallons of ... Read More

Medical helicopter crash kills two, injures one in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK–A medical helicopter carrying three men crashed early in the morning Feb. 22 just after it took off from an Oklahoma City hospital, killing two and critically injuring the other. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent investigators to the scene to begin a probe into what caused the EagleMed AS-350 Eurocopter to crash between St. Ann’s Retirement Center and St. Ann’s Nursing Home in Oklahoma City around 5:45 a.m. Nobody on the ground was injured in the crash, except for one person who ran to the wreckage to help. Pilot Mark Montgomery and nurse Chris Denning died ... Read More

New health care law will reduce medical fraud, report finds

The new health care law passed in 2010 gives Medicare and Medicaid more teeth to fight back against corporate health care fraud, such as subjecting healthy patients to unnecessary and dangerous procedures and overbilling the government programs, a USA Today report claims. The law will make it easier for Medicare and Medicaid to track and reject unneeded medical procedures, such as implanting healthy patients with unneeded heart stents – a practice that HCA, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, routinely practiced in some of its Florida hospitals with an elderly patient base, according to a New York Times investigation. According ... Read More

Overbilling, unnecessary medical procedures routine in corporate hospital chain

C.T. Tomlinson, a traveling nurse who had experience working for dozens of hospital cardiac catheterization labs, knew he was witnessing a fraudulent procedure as he watched a heart surgeon prepare to insert a stent in a patient with healthy arteries. According to the New York Times, in 2008, Mr. Tomlinson questioned Dr. Abdul Shadani of HCA’s Lawnwood Hospital in Fort Pierce, Florida before the procedure began: “Sir, what are we going to fix?” Mr. Tomlinson told the New York Times he saw no blockages as he examined images of the patient’s arteries. “The doctor responded by asking the nurse if ... Read More

Exxon Valdez a deadly precedent for health of BP oil spill victims

When plaintiffs’ lawyers came to an agreement with BP in March, they wanted to make sure that coastal residents and cleanup workers facing medical problems tied to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill would be covered now and in the future. The settlement was divided into two classes, with one class devoted to economic claims and the other covering medical claims and setting up special programs to monitor and enhance the health of Gulf Coast residents, especially in some of its underserved communities. One of the key aspects of the medical agreement stipulates that coastal residents and oil-spill cleanup ... Read More

BP oil spill agreement sets terms for economic and medical damages

Lawyers for plaintiffs harmed by BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill announced the terms last week of the settlement agreement it reached with the oil giant in March. The settlement, which establishes new rules of compensation for some 110,000 specific plaintiffs just two years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion April 20, 2010, has been welcomed by many legal analysts as a monumental achievement, considering its complexity and scope. The settlement will be entirely funded by BP, and except for a $2.3 billion limit on commercial fishing claims, no cap has been set on the amount of damages BP will ... Read More

Whistleblowers key in the fight against fraud

Whistleblowers have become one of the federal government’s most valuable tools in its ongoing efforts to crack down on corporate wrongdoing and recover money lost to overbilling and other fraudulent activities. Healthcare is one industry that is particularly rampant with financial fraud, and it’s fallen at the center of recent bipartisan efforts in Washington to fight back. A congressional coalition beefed up the False Claims Act in 2009, making it easier for the government to use the law. Additionally, the Obama Administration has called for better fraud-busting health care laws and a bigger budget to use them effectively. Tony West, ... Read More

Florida heart transplant flight crash kills three

A medical transport flight carrying a donor heart to a recipient in Jacksonville, Florida, crashed into a wooded area of north Florida around 6:00 Monday morning, killing the pilot, a heart surgeon, and an organ procurement technician. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators continue to probe the crash, which occurred in a densely wooded and remote area of Florida about 45 miles northeast of Gainesville.  The Bell 206 helicopter was en route to Shands’ LifeQuest Organ Recovery Service at the University of Florida in Gainesville to pick up a donor heart when it crashed. Although no flight plan was filed, ... Read More