Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Michigan oncologist's discovery leads to the downfall of a cancer treatment empire

This jaw-dropping story of oncology fraud and patient abuse -- and its exposure by Dr. Soe Maunglay, a young Burmese-born oncologist -- must be read to be believed.

Dr. Farid Fata's Michigan Hematology and Oncology Inc. (MHO) was the state's largest private cancer practice in 2013, with clinics in seven cities, its own pharmacy and diagnostic center, and 1,700 patients, virtually all of them assigned to Fata, the tireless physician. Those who needed proof of Fata's dedication could look to the doctor's work ethic — he often labored past midnight — or to the Swan for Life Foundation, a charity Fata established to help cancer patients and their families.

Today, MHO is gone and Fata is behind bars, awaiting sentencing for at least $34 million in fraudulent Medicare billings and a kickback scheme with a hospice. The criminal counts only hint at the human suffering behind the financial damages and raise questions about how Fata's schemes could go undetected so long, despite his many contacts, doctors, and huge roster of patients.

Laura Berman tells the story in The Detroit News.

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