Sacred Heart Hospital Accused of Fraud.

Have you ever gone to the doctor and wondered why your bill is so high?  The Chicago Tribune has reported that administrators and doctors at Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago have been arrested for their involvement in a fraudulent scheme to make money by giving patients unnecessary treatments.

According to the Tribune, the hospital’s owner, another executive and four physicians have been arrested for allegedly collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for unnecessary procedures.  For example, a patient was allegedly ordered to be heavily sedated by a doctor. The sedation was not necessary but it made it more difficult for the patient to be taken off a ventilator.  This made it necessary for a tracheotomy to be performed for which the hospital received significant funds. The hospital owner was allegedly recorded admitting that these unnecessary tracheotomies were the hospital’s “biggest moneymaker,” with profits reaching over $165,000 if the patient stayed for at least 27 days afterward.

Reports suggest that one doctor performed about 28 of those procedures over a few years, and five of those patients died within weeks of the operation.  That mortality rate is significantly higher than statewide averages, suggesting that the quality of care was lower.

To read one of the Chicago Tribune’s reports, click here.

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