Nurse Alleges State Ignored Report of Medical Malpractice
Since 2013, Michigan doctor Farid Fata has been facing a multitude of criminal charges stemming from an insurance fraud scheme in which he deliberately misdiagnosed patients with cancer and ordered unnecessary chemotherapy treatments. Fata had been the owner of Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers with locations in Bloomfield Hills, Clarkston, Sterling Heights, Lapeer, Troy, and Oak Park. The government reports Fata’s scheme cost Medicare $225 million from August 2007 through July 2013. In addition to criminal charges he’s facing, 11 civil suits have been filed against him by former patients and their families.
Many nurses and assistants who worked at Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers have told federal agents that in addition to the unnecessary chemotherapy treatments, Fata would ask assistants to falsify records, delay scans at other facilities so they could be done through his facility instead, treat patients in office rather than hospital settings, and would allow interns to treat an excessively high number of patients.
Nurse Angela Swatnek, a former employee of Fata’s, recently told WDIV Detroit that she filed a complaint with the state of Michigan in 2010 about Fata, three years before he was arrested, but the state failed to act on it. She told WDIV, “I saw many violations of OSHA and also the way medication was given. Patients are being harmed because the therapies they are being given incorrectly.” Swatnek, who is certified in oncology, filed a very detailed complaint about specific medications being administered incorrectly, how they were supposed to be administered, and how this malpractice was harming patients. She reported how certain medications, which are meant to be administered in 30 seconds, would be dragged out for over an hour in order to get more money from insurance companies. Over a year later, she received a letter saying her complaint was unfounded.
Steve Gobbo, a representative of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, told WDIV that Swatnek should have taken her complaint elsewhere if she wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. However, Swatnek claims she was never given any other alternatives. “Where else is there to go? I mean, this is who oversees my license when I need to renew my license. What do you have to say in order to warrant an investigation to help them from doing harm to their patients?”