All Michigan patients should be able to trust their
physician, so the Michigan Legislature passed bills
protecting patients from doctors’ illegal actions.
In October, the House passed a four-bill package to better protect patients being treated by physicians who are acting illegally. This week, the Senate passed the package and the bills now head to the governor’s desk.
The four-bill package was introduced by state Reps. Jeff Farrington, Pat Somerville, Klint Kesto and Peter Pettalia. 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 intentionally acts in fraudulent or deceitful ways for personal financial gain or to harm the health of their patients.
This legislation is in response to the recent Dr. Farid Fata tragedy, where the a southeast Michigan physician billed Medicare more than $90 million for unnecessary treatments that severely harmed the health of otherwise well patients, some of whom died because of his “treatments.”
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
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 heartbreaking situation like Dr. Fata’s case ever occurs in the future.
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.
The measure received strong bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and now heads to the governor’s desk for final approval.