Farid Fata has a long stay in jail ahead of him. The doctor, a hematologist-oncologist that once worked in the suburbs of Detroit was just sentenced to 45 years in prison for running a fraud scheme in which he prescribed unnecessary chemotherapy and other cancer treatments to patients that didn’t need it.
Some of Fata’s patients were even misdiagnosed with cancer, and others were told they needed chemotherapy when it wasn’t needed in order to scam Medicare and private insurance companies for more than $34 million in false claims.
Fata was also the head of Michigan Hematology Oncology, one of the state’s largest private cancer networks.
The ‘chemo mill’ as one of his whistle-blowing nurses, Angela Swantek, called his oncology practice was very busy. She observed up to a dozen patients getting chemotherapy treatments at any one time.
Swantek filed a complaint with the Michigan licensing regulators, but the state later determined that nothing was out of compliance.
It took three years and an FBI investigation to blow the lid of off Fata’s chemo fraud.
The FBI received a tip from George Karadsheh of Crittenton Cancer Center in Rochester Hills. He had heard from other doctors that Fata often insisted on aggressive chemotherapy for his patients, even when they sometimes did not require it.
Fata was arrested in 2013. He pled guilty to 13 counts of healthcare fraud which included money laundering and accepting kickbacks from Guardian Angel Hospice and Guardian Angel Home Health Care.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan says that no other case has been as egregious as Dr. Fata’s; however, individual doctors, through the persuasion of drug companies have been known to reward doctors who prescribe chemotherapy drugs.
For detailed information about the dollar amounts Fata will forfeit due to his criminal activity, visit healthcarefinancenews.com.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.