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Surgeon Reports to Prison; Government Sends Message, States AAPS
NBC News ^ | 01/15/2013 | staff

Posted on 01/15/2013 12:33:37 PM PST by safetysign

According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), on Nov 1, 2012, vascular surgeon John Natale, M.D., 63, of Arlington, Ill., reported to the federal Bureau of Prisons to serve a 10-month sentence. According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release, he was convicted on two counts of making false statements in connection with surgeries performed between August 2002 and October 2004, and acquitted on two counts of Medicare fraud.

Dr. Natale had saved the lives of five seriously ill patients, average age 78, by complicated repairs of abdominal aortic aneurysms. He was, however, accused of describing the procedures as more complex than they actually were, supposedly in order to collect more payment.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: chicago; kangaroocourt; obamacare
The surgeon saved 5 lives but made a mistake in two of 2,400 operative reports. This is apparently now a federal crime, even though the doctor's total charges were much less than he could have lawfully billed.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, "Kill all the government lawyers."

1 posted on 01/15/2013 12:33:45 PM PST by safetysign
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To: safetysign
U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Singh Bhachu emphasized that "The need for deterrence is very strong in a case like this…. A message needs to be sent out to doctors." The government aimed not just to end a distinguished medical career but to imprison the doctor for as long as possible.

May Amarjeet Singh Bhachu and all involved receive in full all he and they have earned for this "work" and what they've accomplished.

2 posted on 01/15/2013 12:50:37 PM PST by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: safetysign

kill all the government lawyers.

then kill all of their lawyers.

then the ambulance chasers and frivolous lawsuit lawyers.

3 posted on 01/15/2013 12:54:24 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: safetysign

There are some doctors who make a living cheating the medicare/medicaid system. But it certainly doesn’t sound as if this doctor is one of them.

Typical goverment work—picking the wrong guy and throwing the book at him.

I wonder if he failed to donate to Obama’s campaign or something.

4 posted on 01/15/2013 12:55:38 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: safetysign

I primarily work for a defense contractor, but I also work for a civilian aviation contractor that has developed a remarkable suite of avionics.

The USA government approached the civilian company asking to buy several hundreds of units for various aircraft at the market price.

My bosses and I discussed it, then declined, because all sorts of EEOC and other “government contractor” B.S. came into play and we didn’t want to mess with it.

The government agency called back, had located a company that acted as a middle-man (and whow would be the government contractor) to whom we sold the product on an AS-IS basis.

In return, they mark up our product 50%.

5 posted on 01/15/2013 1:04:36 PM PST by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: safetysign

Pertinent information:

“The conviction was announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, together with Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and Thomas P. Brady, Inspector-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service...”

More at:

6 posted on 01/15/2013 1:14:36 PM PST by tsomer
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To: safetysign

“Dr. Orient stated that “after this case, doctors may believe that their government will treat them like criminals, despite an outpouring of support from their grateful patients. Many may decide that continued participation in Medicare is far too dangerous.”

In the long run, this will do more do hasten the exit of physicians from Medicare than anything else. In comparison, the risks of civil litigation are but a mere trifle. What doctor is going to risk his livelihood, his fortune and his liberty to see a Medicare patient?

The public may be indifferent, and politicians may delight in demagoging ‘greedy’ doctors, but when that highly trained specialist is not there, the chickens will come home to roost.

7 posted on 01/15/2013 1:19:27 PM PST by grumpygresh (Democrats delenda est; an EMP confined to DC would be much appreciated)
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In a just world, no doctor in the country would treat this scumbag prosecutor or his family. If the guys kid shows up needing an operation, let the little shit die in the waiting room. Say they couldn’t operate because they didn’t know the proper AMA code.

8 posted on 01/15/2013 1:50:39 PM PST by RightOnTheBorder
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To: grumpygresh
"this will do more do hasten the exit of physicians from Medicare than anything else"

A new kind of "doc fix". The government pays 33% less than market rates, and even though there's a scarcity of Medicare Drs, they won't hesitate to throw them into jail to... protect the public...

9 posted on 01/15/2013 2:13:39 PM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: RightOnTheBorder

“In a just world, no doctor in the country would treat this scumbag prosecutor or his family.”

Years ago there was a Readers Digest article about a patient in SE Georgia who sued her Ob-Gyn. The Ob-Gyn had delivered the patients previous child also. He had also delivered her lawyers previous two children.

The lawyer’s comment when asked, “How can you do this?”

“It’s nothing personal, just business.”

Divine justice prevailed. The lawyer became pregnant. None of the local Ob-Gyns would treat her, so she had to drive the 80 miles to Savannah.

“Nothing personal, just business. We don’t want to be sued!”

10 posted on 01/15/2013 2:17:20 PM PST by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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To: safetysign

Here is what happened. The government of the United States require billing codes, called DRG’s (diagnosis related groups.As a physician you MUST use the codes offered. But for many proceedures, there is no code for the specificity of the proceedure. So, you use the CLOSESTcode number they provide. If you get a person at HICFA who audits the claim it becomes a matter of personal opinion which might differ from the surgeon. It usually results in refusal to pay and requires resubmission of the claim. However, there is a possibility of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for each code which is deemed incorrect. Intent has nothing to do with it. You must read the mind of the US HICFA auditor or you might go to jail. Soooo...this surgeon is ruined, and is going to prison. I did this sh*t for 30 years....trauma, general and vascular surgery....I am out. If this is where the country wants to go with health care, they will do it without me.

11 posted on 01/15/2013 4:10:53 PM PST by Texas Songwriter (THAT)
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To: Texas Songwriter

Great explanation of how this over bearing government system works..Also if you bill for an excess number of cases.. wouldnt it also trigger an audit....

12 posted on 01/15/2013 5:04:54 PM PST by rxtn41
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To: rxtn41

Yes, I am sure there is a bell curve and if you fall in the extreme numbers you will be audited. I know Medicaid does that. If fraud is the concern it certainly should be pursued. However in this case 2 cases out of 2400 cases were in question. That is a great track record. So off to prison for doing all of that work. The fact of saving 5 78yearolds with a ruptured aortic aneuysm speak well for his skill. This guy is being made an eample of for all of us to fall into line. And it will work too. I remember I often did not bill for a secondary proceedure because I did not even want to have a question be brought up about the propriety of the surgery. I am sure it cost me hundreds of thousands over the years.

13 posted on 01/15/2013 6:35:26 PM PST by Texas Songwriter (THAT)
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To: Texas Songwriter

The doctor lost his license for using a wrong code and got sent to prison. Obamacare will make things worse for all of us.

14 posted on 01/16/2013 6:32:07 AM PST by safetysign
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