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Felonious Physicians – How State by State Licensing Boards Are Putting Patients at Risk

October 14, 2016  ·  By HM&M

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Doctors may be mere humans, just like the rest of us, but by default, they are held to a higher standard. We expect them to be rational, honest, and moral human beings. This is not irrational or asking too much. We are entrusting them with our lives, secrets, and vulnerable parts of us. Yet, there are far too many who are not worthy of that trust. Worse yet, you – their patient – may never know, and that could put you at risk for a medical injury.

Fit to Practice?

Nearly a decade ago, a Missouri doctor was investigated for healthcare fraud. Found guilty and convicted of a felony, he allegedly charged Medicare insurance for one drug but then injected cheaper, still experimental drugs into the eyes of his patients. Sometimes, he reportedly split the single-dose vials between to separate patients and then billed each one for a full dose. In total, this happened at least 284 times, which amounted to about $600,000 in excess charges to the government.

If that was not bad enough, the government believes it is possible that he may have subjected his patients to unsterile needles, which could have resulted in a host of serious complications – anything from HIV to infection. He also admitted to destroying patient documents to cover up his wrongdoings during the investigative process.

Upon conviction, the state licensing board revoked his license for seven years. From an ethical standpoint, this is highly concerning, in and of itself. Yet, this is not even close to the scariest part. The physician moved to Illinois, applied for a license, was approved, and then started practicing again. Then, just three years after the licensing board of Missouri revoked his license, he was permitted to reapply for licensing in his own state.

Isolated Incident? Not Even Close

It would be nice to think that this one doctor and this one situation are isolated. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. All across the country, there are practicing doctors who have been convicted of deplorable acts – child pornography, drug dealing, child endangerment, leaving the scene of fatal car crashes, repeated drunk driving, and more. Yet their patients are never told. Even worse, patients may be unable to find any details about their doctor’s criminal history, which may put them at an extremely high risk of medical malpractice, wrongful death, or abuse.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

If you or someone you love has been injured or wrongfully killed by a physician, hospital, or other healthcare provider, you have the right to pursue compensation. Unfortunately, these cases are extremely complex and require in-depth medical knowledge. Protect your interests by contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney for your case.

At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we go above and beyond for our clients because we understand the drastic impact that a medical mistake can have of patients. Backed by more than 75 years of combined experience, we can fight for you and your loved ones. Schedule a free consultation with our Chicago, Illinois medical malpractice attorneys today to learn more.



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