A Florida doctor guilty of misdiagnosing patients to defraud Medicare was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the doctor is guilty of defrauding Medicare Advantage, a Medicare plan involving Humana HMOs (Humana is a health insurance company). The U.S. Attorney’s Office claims the doctor misdiagnosed patients with ankylosing spondylitis, a rare spine disease.
Cases like this have happened before. In prior cases, doctors have misdiagnosed patients with cancer. Patients who are falsely diagnosed with cancer undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Both treatments are harmful to healthy patients. Doctors who falsely diagnose patients with cancer are often guilty of fraud.
Last year, a Detroit doctor subjected 500 of his patients to unnecessary chemotherapy. Some patients experienced life-threatening infections and other illnesses due to the chemotherapy treatments. Keep in mind, chemotherapy harms the immune system. Patients who did not need chemotherapy lost immune system function. Some patients lost immune system function for years. Chemotherapy can also cause hair loss, blood disorders, diarrhea and vomiting.
In both cases discussed today, doctors misdiagnosed healthy individuals to defraud Medicare and health insurance.
Misdiagnosed Patients Can Suffer Permanent Health Problems
Although we commonly associate medical malpractice with mistakes, it can also include criminal actions. Patients misdiagnosed with fatal illnesses can suffer permanent psychological and physical damage.
In many ways, this is one of the worst types of medical wrongdoing. Doctors responsible for defrauding Medicare and insurance companies have cast aside the Hippocratic oath to pursue profits.
The Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro Law Group will defend people who have been harmed by negligent doctors and hospitals.