WAVE 3 News Editorial - June 5, 2014: Unsettling Settlements - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

WAVE 3 News Editorial - June 5, 2014: Unsettling Settlements

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - From performing medically unnecessary heart procedures, to manipulating cancer treatment protocols and lengthening chemotherapy infusion times, it has been a disheartening week of revelations of allegations the government has made against medical facilities in Kentucky.

The alleged misconduct was designed to generate millions of dollars in fraudulent reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid.

In both instances settlements were reached. Kings Daughters Medical Center in Ashland agreed to pay the federal government just under $41 million to resolve the allegations of performing unnecessary heart procedures, and falsifying medical records to justify the procedures. Owners of an Elizabethtown cancer clinic agreed to pay nearly four million to settle the false claims allegations regarding the cancer treatments.

Taking patients' lives in their hands to boost reimbursement, as the justice department says the physicians allegedly did in Ashland, is unfathomable and makes one wonder how common are needless major surgeries?

Our only defense is always to get a second opinion.

The Justice Department should also expedite these cases. An advanced level of urgency must apply.

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