#FF: Lawmakers crack down on physician fraud, protect Michigan patients

Categories: Blog Features,Health Care,Reinventing MI

#FF Dr. FataWelcome to this week’s Follow Friday, where we highlight four bills that were approved by the Michigan House and are headed to the Senate floor in the coming weeks. The four-bill package was introduced by state Reps. Jeff Farrington, Pat Somerville, Klint Kesto and Peter Pettalia, to better protect patients being treated by physicians who are acting illegally.

House Bills 5839-5842 authorize the state–through a disciplinary subcommittee–to permanently revoke a physician’s professional license to practice if he or she engages in a pattern of intentional acts of fraud or deceit resulting in personal financial gain or harm to the health of the patients under their care.

The package of bills are in response to the recent Dr. Farid Fata situation, where the physician billed Medicare more than $90 million for unnecessary treatments that severely harmed the health of otherwise well patients. Currently, the Public Health Code does not allow for his medical license to be permanently revoked. Instead, it merely allows of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to take disciplinary action, without permanently revoking the health professional’s license. This package was introduced and approved by the House allowing LARA to permanently revoke a health professional’s license if a situation similar to Dr. Fata’s case ever occurs in the future.

As we have seen, a physician can take advantage of our health care system to commit fraud and at the same time exploit patients who are vulnerable. I wish we didn’t need legislation like this but, unfortunately, we do. We must protect patients from being mistreated by a physician for personal gain.

– Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica

House Republicans strongly believe that no one should ever be concerned about the  intentions of his or her doctor, and this package of bills ensures that Michiganders throughout the state will be protected from outrageous malpractice in the future.

 

Now that the four-bill package has received such overwhelming support in the House, it’s on its way over to the Senate for consideration. Be sure to follow its progress here.