Multiple Safeguards Are In Place To Protect Patients From Dangerous Doctors, So How Do They Fail So Easily?
ProPublica investigates the case of one Texas doctor and the way the state's protections that are meant to help patients were flawed.
A Surgeon So Bad It Was Criminal
The pain from the pinched nerve in the back of Jeff Glidewell’s neck had become unbearable. Every time he’d turn his head a certain way, or drive over bumps in the road, he felt as if jolts of electricity were running through his body. Glidewell, now 54, had been living on disability because of an accident a decade earlier. As the pain grew worse, it became clear his only choice was neurosurgery. He searched Google to find a doctor near his home in suburban Dallas who would accept his Medicare Advantage insurance. (Beil, 10/2)
In other news —
Thousands Of Insurance Appeals Went To Doctor Feds Say Is Fraud
For years, Spyros Panos seemed like a successful orthopedic surgeon, seeing dozens of patients a day and bringing in millions of dollars in fees for his suburban New York medical group. In fact, he was inflating charges and billing for surgeries he didn’t perform, perpetrating a years-long fraud that culminated in a guilty plea on a single count in federal court in 2013. ... Over the past five months, thousands of patients have received notices from several insurance companies that Panos had posed as another doctor in order to review their medical records in coverage disputes. At least 2,500 people nationwide were affected, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, but the full reach of the alleged fraud hasn’t been made public. (Tozzi, 10/2)
Los Angeles Times:
Prominent Gynecologist At Huntington Hospital Again Accused Of Sexual Misconduct By Medical Board
A prominent Pasadena obstetrician is facing the possible loss or suspension of his medical license following an accusation by state regulators that he made inappropriate comments about a patient’s appearance and sex life. The allegation lodged last week by the Medical Board of California marks the fifth time Dr. Patrick Sutton has been accused of sexual misconduct, according to a review by The Times of court records and medical board files. (Ryan and Hamilton, 10/1)