Olympic Hopeful Sues Cooper Concepts over Multivitamin with Banned Substance

Former University of Texas All-American swimmer Madisyn Cox is suing a company connected to Cooper Clinic after a banned substance was found in her system, resulting in her suspension by the Olympic affiliate for water sports, Dallas Morning News reports. Cox says the multi-vitamin contained trimetazidine, a banned substance that is not approved for sale in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration, DMN reports. A lab accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency found the substance in the vitamin she was taking. Though she was cleared to swim in 2018, Cox says the damage was done in the two year… Full Story

Forest Park Fraud Trial Results in Guilty Verdicts for Seven

After four days of deliberations, the jury returned guilty verdicts for seven defendants in the federal bribery case involving Forest Park Medical Center. Though a sentencing date has not been set, defendants face between five to 65 years in prison. Announced by U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater, the jury decided that Wilton Burt, Jackson Jacob, Douglas Sung Won, Michael Rimlawi, Shawn Henry, Mrugeshkumar Shah, and Iris Forrest took part in the conspiracy to pay or receive healthcare bribes. After the verdict announcement, the Dallas Morning News described how Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Pfeifle requested that all defendants be detained on… Full Story

Opioid Lawsuit Says McKesson “Deliberately Betrayed” Duties

Last month, McKesson Corp. was named a defendant in a New York lawsuit aimed at some of the largest drug distributors and manufacturers in the country. McKesson, which was listed as six on the Fortune 500 list with $198.5 billion in revenue in 2017, is the largest pharmaceutical company in the country with 76,000 employees. The company moved its international headquarters from San Francisco to Irving last fall. As first reported in the New York Times, the New York Attorney General alleges that McKesson and other major distributors conducted a number of fraudulent practices leading to the proliferation of opioid addiction in… Full Story

Bill to Allow Physicians to Distribute Medicine at the Office Takes a Hit

House Bill 1622, which would have let physicians distribute certain common prescribed medicines, has died in the public health committee in the Texas House of Representatives. Committee chair and Houston Democrat Senfronia Thompson has not allowed the bill to come before the committee, meaning there will not be public debate. The bill was introduced by Rep. Tom Oilverson from Houston, and advocates say it would get rid of the hurdle of finding a pharmacy and improve medication adherence. Nationwide, 46 states have passed legislation allowing physicians to distribute certain medications at their office, urgent care clinics, or worksite clinics. Supporters… Full Story

Blue Cross Blue Shield Weighs in on Texas Affordable Care Act Ruling

Late last year, a Texas judge ruled the Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional, but Blue Cross Blue Shield is siding with the act.  Because the tax on the individual mandate had been removed, Texas argued that the law is an unjust use of Congressional power. The Texas judge found the individual mandate to be an essential part of the ACA, so he ruled the entire act (not just the mandate), to be unconstitutional. If it wins on appeal, the ruling would remove coverage for millions of Americans who received insurance through the Medicare expansion and private insurance subsidies. The… Full Story

Forest Park Defendant: “That’s Not How it Works”

The Forest Park Medical Center trial continued Friday morning, with testimony from Dr. Michael Rimlawi, one of the 10 remaining defendants in the alleged $40 million kickback scheme at the for-profit hospital. Testimony was focused on the nature of the payments that were made to physicians. The government attempted to frame these payments as kickbacks that were connected to the volume of value of surgeries done at the hospital, while Rimlawi vehemently denied it. Rimlawi is the director and founder of the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute, and had operating privileges at the now bankrupt hospital. Rimlawi made the news when… Full Story

Feds Don’t Act on Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Medical City Parent Company

A whistleblower lawsuit accused Medical City Healthcare parent company HCA Healthcare of bilking the federal government out of millions at their rehabilitation hospitals through inflated or fraudulent billing, Modern Healthcare reports. HCA is no stranger to former employees exposing questionable Medicare billing practices, as it was subject to one of the longest government investigations which began in 1993 and concluded when a settlement was reached in 2002 which cost the hospital chain $1.7 billion, which was the largest health fraud settlement in history at the time. A former occupational therapist alleges that HCA submitted false claims across 18 states, attempting… Full Story

Forest Park Bariatric Director: “I Did What They Told Me To Do”

After 18 days and 47 witnesses, the federal government rested its case last week against defendants in the Forest Park Medical Center case involving $200 million in insurance payments that were influenced by alleged kickbacks and bribes. On Monday, the defense began with testimony from now-bankrupt Forest Park Medical Center’s Director of Bariatric Services Carli Hempel, who is being accused of selling Medicare and Medicaid referrals to other facilities because Forest Park was not eligible to bill those entities. Hempel worked for Forest Park from 2008 to 2011. She was recruited to Forest Park by Alan Beauchamp, a co-founder who pleaded… Full Story

Lawsuit Forces Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to Pay $75,000 to Deaf Applicant

A federal judge signed a decree requiring Richardson-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to pay a deaf woman $75,000 and other relief for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, as first reported in the Dallas Morning News. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the results of its lawsuit against BCBS of Texas this week. According to the lawsuit, a deaf woman named Sheryl Meador applied online to be a claims examiner, and was asked to complete an assessment with an audio portion. The assessment did not have accommodations for hearing-impaired applicants, and Meador was unable to complete it. The… Full Story

President and CEO of Local Supplement Company Pleaded Guilty to Multimillion Dollar Fraud Conspiracy

The president and CEO of Dallas-based dietary supplement company USPlabs pleaded guilty in federal court to a role in a scheme to fraudulently sell workout supplements to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. President Jonathan Doyle and CEO Jacobo Geissler pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce. The two were joined by three other individuals and two companies that took part in developing, manufacturing, or marketing workout and weight loss supplements known as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro. OxyElite Pro was recalled in 2013 after a Food and Drug Administration investigation to see… Full Story