A University of Texas Medical School with a History of Legal Trouble.

In 2002, the person in charge of billing at the UT Southwestern medical school brought a whistle-blower suit against the school, alleging that “audits between 1993 and 1997 found that surgeons in as many as 16 UTSW departments were submitting [Medicare and Medicaid] bills for postoperative care, deliveries and other operations they did not perform.”

For various legal reasons, the Justice Department didn’t pursue that suit; but here comes a more recent one, from a former surgical department chair, claiming

UTSW was improperly charging Medicare and Medicaid for resident supervision that faculty doctors weren’t providing before, during and after surgery.

He also accused Parkland of permitting the lax oversight and using surgical consent forms that misled patients into thinking faculty doctors, rather than residents, would operate on them.

Without admitting guilt, the hospital has just settled this one, for $1.4 million.

He’s Yale all the …

way.

Gerson M. Sternstein, MD – Dr. Sternstein is the co-owner and Medical Director of Paragon Behavioral Health. He received his undergraduate degree, medical school training, and psychiatric residency education at Yale University.

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State regulators have accused Berlin psychiatrist Gerson Sternstein with grossly overprescribing narcotics to drug-addicted patients at his office, a pattern that they say fed the patients’ drug abuse and led in some cases to criminal behavior — the reselling of drugs on the street.

Two patients under Sternstein’s care died of drug overdoses. In wrongful-death lawsuits that are separate from the state action, the families of the two dead patients contend that Sternstein was essentially a drug dealer …

Hartford Courant

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!!!

What were his peers on when they did the ratings?

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Unbelievable levels of drug distribution alleged from one man. As always, given the national pain pill crisis, the question is why it took so long for anyone to do anything about this.

Powell, Wyoming: A community UNBELIEVABLY desperate for a doctor.

They just hired Cory Pickens.

The CEO who hired him “decided not to disclose Pickens’ background when announcing the hire.”

Yeah. I mean, why tell the community that he’s a recovering Oxycontin, oxycodone and hydrocodone addict who’s just been convicted of prescription fraud? That might make people reluctant to use his anesthesiology services.

To mark Chip Skowron’s insider trading arrest …

today, my post about him one year ago.

Their big mistake was hiring a quality improvement officer.

I’ve said there will be more and more of these university hospital Medicare stories, until they become A Story.

Indeed I foresee (Les UD’s finally got around, last night, to watching Ed Wood — which UD laughed through and Mr UD found “depressing” — and I’m thinking here of The Amazing Criswell’s predictions.) the larger story featured in a long Page One piece in the New York Times.

This particular story, out of the SUNY system, features spine-tingling allegations from a staff doctor who also served as “quality improvement officer” for the neurosurgery department. (He works now at Boston University.)

The chair of the hospital’s neurosurgery department – who fired the whistleblower shortly after he started blowing the whistle – was himself eventually brought down by his Nazi fetish.

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Update: Note that I’ve changed Syracuse to SUNY. Syracuse sold the hospital to the SUNY system. UD thanks Mr Punch for the correction.

The Human Face of Medicine

Some American universities are being compromised by medical school professors illegally selling pain-killers. It’s a growth industry – universities can expect more cases of faculty or affiliated faculty involved in pill mills.

Some faculty members have formal affiliations with the mills; others, like Leonard Hudson, commit prescription fraud for personal reasons.

Hudson, who for years at the University of Washington taught a course called The Human Face of Medicine, looked online for prostitutes and found one he liked. In exchange for sex, he prescribed immense amounts of opiates for her (she’s an addict).

Pill mills are a very big national story (though Florida is The Pill Mill State). University Diaries will only cover pill mills when they involve universities.

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