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Cancer Center Compensates Patient for Extending Chemotherapy

Photo of Imrana Manzanares

Elizabethtown Hematology Oncology PLC and its owners paid nearly $4 million dollars to resolve allegations that they filed false claims for payment to Medicare, Medicaid, and the military's medical provider for extending the duration of chemotherapy to patients and inappropriately billing office visits for infusion therapy.

The settlement agreement states that Dr. Rafiq Rahman and Dr. Yusuf Deshmukh over a seven year period unnecessarily and improperly extended the duration of chemotherapy for their patients in order to make more money. As stated by Patrick McFarland, inspector general of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, "To subject cancer patients to unnecessary treatments that are physically draining and emotionally stressful is utterly unconscionable." U.S. Attorney David Hale went on to claim, "Manipulating treatment protocols and lengthening infusion times to increase reimbursement reflect an extraordinary lack of regard for patient welfare and the integrity of our health care system."

Marc Murphy, the lawyer for the clinic and doctors defended the claim by stating there was "not an ounce of evidence that a single patient suffered or suffered more" due to the extended chemotherapy and further, "These physicians were persuaded that the harmful effect of chemotherapy in the alleged instances would be reduced by giving smaller doses over a longer period of time."

Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law as it requires an understanding of both the legal practice and the mechanics of medicine. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.

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