MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Three New Jersey doctors admitted to sending patients in for unnecessary diagnostic tests as part of a massive kickback scheme that dates back to 2006.
Dennis Aponte, Claudio Dicovsky and Franklin Dana Fortunato all pleaded guilty to the Federal Travel Act; Fortunato also pled guilty to tax return fraud.
For years, the docs were paid thousands of dollars a month to refer patients to a medical testing center called Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services. While the going was good, the diagnostic center pulled in more than $1.4 million from the kickback racket, according to the FBI.
"These types of kickback arrangements cripple the health care industry and severely impact patient care. The FBI remains committed to investing its resources to combat these types of schemes," said FBI agent Aaron Ford in prepared remarks.
CMS launches a mobile app to track Sunshine payments
CMS released its Sunshine payment tracking app into the Android and and iOS markets. The 2 versions of the app – 1 for doctors and 1 for companies and GPOs – will let users track open payments data. The Sunshine Act is set to kick off August 1, when company will have to start reporting doctor payments to the government.
Hatch wants to "pause" meaningful use program
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told the Senate Finance Committee that he would like to see a "pause" in the meaningful use program, part of healthcare reform pushing the use of electronic medical records. Hatch cited evidence that the program might be working efficiently and that a short pause would allow healthcare provider to improve the quality of electronic records being put into place. Dr. Patrick Conway, the medical chief of CMS, countered that a pause would cripple the momentum of the program.
Surgical knife burns through cancer tissue
A surgical knife developed by the Imperial College of London slices through cancer tissue using a heated blade, creating smoke that the device captures and "smells" for more cancer tissue. This multi-faceted knife is designed to help surgeons remove all the dangerous tissue and nothing more, an surgical development that might help the 1 in 5 breast biopsy patients who have to go back for follow-up surgery.
Cardiac expert nails down the top uses for CT today
Cardiac CT expert Dr. Matthew Budoff discussed the evolving consensus on the best uses for the imaging technique. He said CT angiography’s best use is to learn more about heart function and anatomy. 2nd, it should be used to detect plaque and 3rd to detect complicated or unusual aortic valves. He made these comments at the Society for Cardiovascular Computed Tomography 2013 Scientific Meeting.