Hospice provider tied to 'Dr. Death' inks $200k kickback settlement

Vitas Health Corp. Midwest, a subsidiary of Miami-based hospice provider Vitas Healthcare, has agreed to pay $200,000 to resolve allegations it paid kickbacks to Farid Fata, MD, in exchange for referrals, according to The Detroit News

Dr. Fata, a Detroit-area hematologist-oncologist, was convicted in 2015 of purposely misdiagnosing patients with cancer and administering medically unnecessary chemotherapy to them. Dr. Fata, nicknamed "Dr. Death" by his victims, pleaded guilty in 2014 to 13 counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks and two counts of money laundering.

In July 2015, Dr. Fata was sentenced to 45 years in prison. However, he recently told Kaiser Health News he plans to file a habeas corpus petition, which will require a judge to determine if his imprisonment is lawful. Dr. Fata claims he is innocent and that he pleaded guilty in 2014 while under duress.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services began investigating Vitas after one of the company's employees filed a complaint alleging Vitas paid Dr. Fata for patient referrals. According to the complaint, Vitas gave nearly $16,000 to a charity Dr. Fata created in exchange for 23 patient referrals.

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

Patient accused of attacking, kidnapping nurse in Illinois hospital
CEO of medical supply company guilty of extortion, fraud
Man sues CNN for airing images of him in hospital: 6 things to know


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