The Hippocratic Oath dates back to antiquity. Hippocrates, the so-called father of modern medicine, lived in the 5th century B.C. Today the oath has been modernized but is still used by graduating medical students around the world. Central to the oath is the concept that physicians should never harm their patients.
Evidently convicted doctor Farid Fata of Detroit missed that lesson. Convicted of Medicare fraud, prosecutors say that Fata “administered chemotherapy to patients whose medical conditions did not support the treatments.”
Unnecessary chemo? That makes Fata a monster in our opinion. Chemo often carries terrible and painful side effects. Cancer is such a life altering event that creating expectations or unnecessary fears is as bad as the physical damage chemo can ccause. While we have no problem extending heroic efforts to sick patients who need help, performing unnecessary chemotherapy is horrible.
According to published reports and court records, Dr. Fata pleaded guilty and is now awaiting sentencing later this year. Medicare fraud charges typically carry a maximum 10 year sentence but those sentences can be much more severe if a patient suffers a serious injury as a result of unnecessary care. As convicted, he currently faces 195 years in prison.
Fata also faces forfeiture charges and restitution. Prosecutors say he bilked Medicare for approximately $91 million before getting caught.
Many Medicare fraud cases come to light through the actions of whistleblowers. These heroes are typically billing clerks, nurses and other health care professionals who grow weary of watching a doctor or hospital mistreat patients or rip off taxpayers.
Under the federal False Claims Act, whistleblowers can receive up to 30% of whatever the government collects from wrongdoers. That may be tough in Dr. Fata’s case since he faces a probable lengthy prison sentence. Prosecutors have seized most of his assets, however.
Last year the Justice Department gave $635 million to whistleblowers. Our clients have received over $100,000,000.00.
Dr. Fata is from Oakland, a suburb of Detroit. Southeast Michigan has one of the highest rates of Medicare fraud in the nation. We hope that news of these prosecutions and huge whistleblower payments will encourage others to come forward. Our goals are to empower ordinary healthcare workers to truly become heroes and put an end to bad healthcare, greed and dishonesty.
Interested in becoming a whistleblower? Give us a call. We have helped people all across the United States. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (414) 704-6731 (direct). We keep all inquiries completely confidential.
MahanyLaw – America and Detroit’s Whistleblower Lawyers.