Michigan Oncologist Gives Patients Needless Chemo in $35 Million Medicare Fraud By Tod Aronovitz | 08/14/13 | 0 Comment

Dr. Farid Fata, a popular oncologist in the metro Detroit area, has been accused of deliberately misdiagnosing patients and unnecessarily administering chemotherapy to cancer victims in remission as part of an alleged $35 million Medicare fraud scheme.

Prosecutors claim Dr. Fata was motivated by money, billing Medicare for millions of dollars in false claims for chemotherapy treatments, PET scans, and a variety of cancer and hematology treatments for patients who did not need them.

As part of the elaborate scheme, Fata is charged with knowingly providing improper care to cancer patients, often going to great lengths to administer treatment, such as in parking garages, and continuing to pursue treatment even when patients’ health was not improving.

Many of his patients were seeking second opinions because they were told chemotherapy was not needed. Some of these patients were in remission. Others were in a hospice program, and had been advised to live out their remaining days in relative peace and comfort without any further treatment.

The FBI requested that Dr. Fata’s bond be increased from $170,000 to $9 million to prevent him from fleeing the country to Lebanon where he has family. On Tuesday, a judge agreed, ruling that Dr. Fata must post a $9 million bond in order to be released from custody. Before Fata can be released, however, a hearing will also be held to determine if the source of the funds that will be used for the bond are legitimate. Dr. Fata’s wife, Samar, who is the CFO of his company, is not charged in the crime.

The government is also arguing that Dr. Fata is a danger to the community as long as he has a medical license and should have no contact with patients, provide consultations, or administer prescription drugs.

The oncologist operates Michigan Hematology Oncology P.C., in seven metro Detroit communities and has been in practice for 10 years. He has privileges in seven area hospitals and treated patients with other doctors and staff. Dr. Fata’s 1,200 patients and clinics are currently in limbo while he is housed in the Wayne County Jail.

Experts remind patients to be aware of what is happening in their doctors’ offices and keep on top of their treatment. Request hard copies of medical records and review them. If a serious diagnosis like cancer is given, get a second opinion and take your medical records with you at that time.

How to Report Miami Medicare Fraud
Healthcare or medical billing employees who have inside knowledge of questionable Medicare billing practices can file a confidential legal claim under the False Claims Act. By acting as a “whistleblower” in what is known as a “qui tam” lawsuit, a private party may collect between 10 to 30 percent of the amount recovered, depending on how the case is prosecuted.

ARONOVITZ LAW: Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam Law Firm

The Miami Qui Tam law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW routinely works with Miami whistleblowers to document Medicare fraud and other forms of fraud against the government. Contact Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam lawyer Tod Aronovitz to discuss a case.