22 healthcare controversies in 1 week

Here are 22 healthcare industry-related controversies, investigations and other legal incidents reported by Becker's since Oct. 3:

1. Brian Hyatt, MD, the former head of Arkansas' state medical board, was arrested in connection with an alleged Medicaid fraud scheme. More than 40 patients have also accused Dr. Hyatt in civil lawsuits of imprisoning them against their will while running the behavioral health unit between February 2018 and May 2022. 

2. A lawsuit was filed against Costco that alleges the warehouse club company shared customers' protected health information with Facebook parent company Meta.

3. Two men with loaded handguns were arrested at Rochester (N.Y.) General Hospital. The men were taken into custody and each charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

4. Jessica Struhar, a former Michigan certified nursing assistant, was charged with neglect and falsifying medical records after a patient's death when she worked at Medilodge, a skilled nursing facility in Richmond, Mich. Ms. Struhar allegedly ignored standing orders related to a 58-year-old patient's care during mealtimes. Her alleged neglect led to a choking incident that resulted in the death of the patient.

5. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic revised its hydroxychloroquine site after Peter Navarro, who directed the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy under President Donald Trump, cited the site on X, formerly known as Twitter, in support of its use in treating COVID-19. Mayo Clinic made its hydroxychloroquine page live again in October, deleting all references to COVID-19.

6. Police are searching for a man who escaped custody at Mount Sinai West in New York City. The suspect was arrested on charges of petit larceny. 

7. Scott Williams, a resident of Hudson Falls, N.Y., accused of stabbing two nurses at Saratoga Hospital is facing felony charges. After the incident, the hospital said the suspect was continuing to receive care. Both victims were treated and released.

8. Metairie, La.-based physician Alex Glotser, MD, was charged with defrauding Medicare of $5.6 million in medically unnecessary equipment and genetic testing. While working as an independent contractor for a telemedicine company, Dr. Glotser signed thousands of physicians' orders for Medicare beneficiaries he never met nor treated.

9. Patient advocacy organizations accused VA Loma Linda (Calif.) Health Care System of violating patient civil liberties by placing some veterans on involuntary psychiatric holds as a condition for their transportation to a hospital.

10. Virginia-based Daphne Jenkins, a nurse practitioner, was charged for her role in a $7.8 million telemedicine fraud scheme involving medically unnecessary durable medical equipment. The charging documents allege that Ms. Jenkins worked with a telemedicine company to sign orders for medically unnecessary durable medical equipment based on telemarketing calls to Medicare beneficiaries whom she had no medical relationship with.

11. Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health is under investigation by a Senate committee led by Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. The investigation centers around Bon Secours' use of the government's 340B program, which allows hospitals to buy drugs at steep discounts. It was intended to help hospitals that serve underinsured patients but has become controversial. 

12. Derrick Todd, MD, a former rheumatologist at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital, agreed to stop practicing medicine amid allegations that he performed inappropriate pelvic and breast exams on patients. Dr. Todd has not worked at Brigham and Women's since July.

13. Nurses from Philadelphia-based Temple University Hospital's outpatient clinics filed a class-action lawsuit alleging they were not paid for overtime.

14. Michael Hochman, MD, an ophthalmologist in Laredo, Texas, was indicted for healthcare fraud and money laundering. Dr. Hochman allegedly falsely diagnosed patients with various ophthalmologic diseases and degenerative eye conditions. 

15. Annalee Knowles, a physician assistant employed by Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare System, was removed from her shifts after health officials found she shared confidential patient information to her Instagram account. 

16. CarolinaEast Health System, a two-hospital system based in New Bern, N.C., temporarily stopped operations Oct. 5 because of an emailed bomb threat. No bomb was found. 

17. Munster, Ind.-based Community Hospital and its operator, Munster Medical Research Foundation, will pay $158,000 to settle a lawsuit that accused the hospital of not accommodating a nurse after a work injury. 

18. Three states have filed civil complaints against Berwyn, Pa.-based Fresenius Vascular Care centers for allegedly performing unnecessary surgeries on Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The suit alleges that the centers scheduled end-stage renal disease patients for invasive procedures every three to four months, purportedly to preserve their dialysis access sites. 

19. Katherine Jee Rankin, RN, a nurse formerly employed at a Jacksonville, Fla.-based ASC, pleaded guilty to tampering with injectable hydromorphone at the facility.

20. Another 301 patients sued Robert Hadden, MD, a former OB-GYN at New York City-based Columbia University who was convicted of sexual abuse earlier this year, and Columbia University, alleging the gynecologist sexually abused them during examinations.

21. Heather Pressdee, a former nurse charged with killing two nursing home patients in Chicora, Pa., was charged in connection with a third patient's death.

22. In 2022, an Iowa family filed a lawsuit against Iowa City-based ASC ENT Medical Services and one of its physicians after their 2-year-old son died following a routine procedure. The couple has now added the state of Iowa as a third defendant in the case, alleging the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, overseen by the state of Iowa, allowed a resident to be involved in the child's operation without informing or receiving consent from the family.

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