Sunday, February 3, 2008

Corruption Vice and Sleaze in Pathology Marketplace

Increasing attention to a dysfunctional industry will soon to change the face of commercial pathology. Folks in the industry know the game is about to end. Like the housing bubble recently burst, everyone knew it would happen, the only surprise is WHEN.

A conference on March 2 in Denver (www.ascp.org/511live/Timssnet/News/TNT_news.cfm?action=long&primary_id=USCAP08) will be a good time to expose additional schemes that threaten pathologists' ability to take care of patients.

Problems that my own lab has dealt with will be addressed in subsequent posts. Whether you are a patient who has been overcharged or subjected to unnecessary tests, whether you are a physician who knows of practices that run counter to good medical care, or whether you are an employee of a lab company that engages in questionable conduct, your observations are welcome here. They may be added to those that surface during the conference.

I admit to not being perfect. In the course of the past decade, I have adopted some practices that I thought were necessary to stay competitive in the increasingly cut-throat out-patient pathology industry. Some of these practices, whether longstanding or relatively new, have the potential of being abused and I look forward to eliminating them entirely once a level playing field has been created by upcoming changes, long overdue.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know of some stuff that should be revealed. How do I not get in trouble with my company?

Jay Oppenheimer said...

ALWAYS use the words "I believe" if you use any specific names of labs or people. If is better to say "a four man GI group" or "a pathology group based in the Midwest." Don't risk being sued for defamation because what you believe to be the facts, rather indicate that you believe the facts to be such and such. "I believe that XXXXX" is a true statement that cannot be argued against since you know what you believe. "XXXXXX happened" is a statement that can be debated and I know you don't want to resort to lawyers to prove it.

Anonymous said...

Medicare and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) both have "whistleblower" numbers that people can utilize to peport improper/illegal activities. Complaints can be made anonymously if that make the caller more comfortable. It should also be noted that within a laboratories Compliance program is a non-retaliation section basically stating that there shall be no retaliation against a "whistleblower" from within the company. The Government will pay a very attractive % of any fines handed down aginst the company if you were that "whistleblower".
On the other hand, if you have knowledge of illegal activities within your company and do nothing about it you may face sanctions and be restricted from employment in any healthcare company that accepts payments from the federal Government or a "professional death sentance"