Lebanese Detroit Doctor Gave Chemo to Patients Without Cancer

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faridfata

Dr. Fata is due in court Tuesday and his bond has been set at $170,000. If convicted, he might face up to 20 years in jail. Having said that, I don’t think 20 years will be enough to repair the damage he’s done in the past two years.

I mean seriously! What the hell was going through this guy’s mind to do that?

Here are few excerpts from Medscape.com (Thanks Nicole)

“This oncologist and other employees also reported that Dr. Fata ordered intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for patients whose antibody levels did not warrant the therapy. One nurse practitioner (NP) told federal agents that she pulled the charts for 40 patients scheduled for IVIG therapy and saw that 38 had neither low antibody levels nor a recurrent infection, which is another indication for the treatment. The NP consulted 2 other employees about the issue, and the 3 of them canceled the IVIG therapy for the 38 patients.

Dr. Fata’s employees had internally challenged other practices they considered unethical, such as fabricating cancer diagnoses in patient records to justify insurance claims for chemotherapy and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, according to interviews conducted by federal agents. Some employees quit over these issues. The employed oncologist, who had considered quitting, described working with Dr. Fata as “living with this hell.”

Dr. Fata has not yet had his day in court to refute these charges. “He vehemently denies all the allegations,” said Christopher Andreoff, the physician’s attorney, in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Fata ordered chemotherapy for all patients with advanced cancer who would not benefit from it, according to the employed oncologist interviewed by federal agents. “No other physician would do this and would let the patients die in peace,” the complaint quotes the oncologist as saying. In April 2012, the American Society of Clinical Oncology said that administering chemotherapy to patients with advanced cancer who would not benefit from it is 1 of 5 practices that oncologists must abandon.”

“The current and former employees paint a picture of a physician who was obsessed with administering chemotherapy, no matter the circumstances. “A male patient fell down and hit his head when he came to MHO,” the complaint alleged. “Dr. Fata directed [an NP] that he must receive his chemotherapy before he could be taken to the emergency room.” Dr. Fata’s order was carried out. The man eventually died from the head injury.” [Medscape.com]

And from MyFoxDetroit

A Detroit-area doctor has been charged with bilking the government of tens of millions of dollars by deliberately misdiagnosing patients with cancer and illegally billing Medicare for the treatment.

Dr. Farid Fata will remain behind bars until at least Tuesday as a third federal judge considers whether or not to grant him bail. He was arrested last week on charges he ripped off Medicare for millions of dollars by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn’t need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn’t apparent, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.

Fata owns Michigan Hematology Oncology, which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park. The government says the clinics billed $35 million to Medicare over two years.

Fata earned about $24.3 million in drug infusion billings directly to Medicare, “more than any hematologist/oncologist in the state of Michigan during that time period,” FBI agent Brian Fairweather wrote in the criminal complaint.

A magistrate judge had said Fata could be released from jail under strict conditions, but prosecutors appealed. They fear Fata will flee to his native Lebanon if released from jail, claiming he has access to millions of dollars to finance a flight. [Fox News]

22 thoughts on “Lebanese Detroit Doctor Gave Chemo to Patients Without Cancer

    1. George

      Can you stop being a Dumbo Mark? One criminal guy’s actions does nothing to reflect on the 20 million Lebanese living on this planet. As to your comment to stop breading I suggest you start with yourself. We’re tired of hearing fascist individuals judging a whole race of people based on the actions of a few.

      Reply
  1. jean

    Another animal distorting our reputation… Not that the reputation of Lebanese in Detroit is that great anyways….

    Reply
  2. Paul Smith

    This doctor is only accused but not convicted yet, him being the head of this multi-branches clinic doesn’t mean he is the sole responsible.
    If he is to be convicted he would be just a corrupted person, like any other corrupted person whether he was Lebanese, American or from any other country.

    It’s bizarre how people believe anything negative so quickly and how easy it is to stereotype.

    Reply
    1. Desmond Bey

      You’re right, it is easy to stereotype, but you must admit that the Lebanese (over the years) have given the world enough ammunition to make a stereotype.

      Being the head of something automatically makes you the sole responsible especially when the amounts involved are so large.

      Reply
  3. Abaretruth

    What the hell is wrong with people? Lebanese or not, nationality is not an issue, although Lebanese tend to be in the news for all the wrong reasons more than others. The issue at hand is greed and the dehumanization of patients.

    Reply
  4. zahle1

    I go to church with this guy here in Detroit. He is a very nice guy, and has a beautiful family. Let’s stop acting like he was found guilty. This is what the US media and government are claiming against him. He is not yet been convicted. He has been a very reputable doctor, and sees lots of patients for a reason. He has helped many people. What about the patients that have survived because of his aggressive treatments over the years? What about the patients that may have received chemo after the cancer “appeared to leave”and never came back because they received the treatment a little longer than typical. I say crucify him after he is found guilty. I am 100% positive he will not be guilty of all of the charges. He is a successful Lebanese doctor who people here don’t want to see succeed. If he did wrong, it was not because he did not care for his patients. Worst case he overcharged medicare. Right now the prosecution has no experts in oncology who can refute his treatment. Let’s show some sensitivity to his wife and children and give him a chance to his fair trial.

    Reply
  5. Nicole

    There are thousands of successful Lebanese doctors in the US. This notion that people don’t want them to succeed is simply nonsense.He was given the opportunity to specialize in the US, get naturalized and practice. The gov does not go around picking on them and closing their practices for no valid reason. To say he is a victim of the US gov and media is simply absurd. As a physician an oath to protect patients, he was trusted with their lives. For all those patients he saved, that is his job! Maybe they wont be able to prove he led to the unwarranted misery (maybe even deaths)of God only knows how many people. But the 35 million in Medicare fraud is no joke and that can be proven. That alone should send him to prison for life. The church goer/nice guy/beautiful family image means nothing, clearly some people may fall for that superficial image. He wasn’t thinking of his family and his wife when he illegally billed claim after claim; and we have all the right to discuss and debate.

    Reply
  6. Gianni

    zahle1;

    Change your name dude! Just because he goes to church eh? It reminds of Rodney D. joke…(Mass murderer’s case)They interview the neighbors of this character and they all say; he was a nice guy and went to church always. Great family. One day he grabs an axe and wipes off his family!

    If he is guilty as charged; then let him go to hell! However; I would not tarnish all Lebanese in diaspora because of this singular case. If one wants to tarnish Lebanese; one does not have to look past your dear so called country “Lebanon”. It is a cesspool of druggies; mass murderers and losers…Except for a few dedicated souls…

    Reply
    1. zahle1

      Gianni, you should change your name too! Come on, you people on here are amazing! Who said he should be free because he goes to church? I never said that. I am saying I know him, and know he has a beautiful family. I will throw the first stone if he is found guilty right there along side you. I take exception to you insulting our Lebanon “druggies, murderers and losers…except for a few dedicated souls…” This is so inappropriate, and you have some nerve coming on here and insulting our country. It is the opposite. Most people are good there. It is not perfect, but not as you state.

      Reply
  7. zahle1

    Nicole, nobody is saying we don’t have a right to debate here it is good. I enjoy this blog. I do believe that the media and people here don’t want to see him succeed. Please go to clickondetroit.com, our local news site, and see what people say about him as a Lebanese, and how we don’t pay taxes….and how he is a terrorist supporter… I agree that the government does not go closing practices just because of his ethnicity. I am not saying he is 100% innocent. I am saying his charges are exaggerated, and I don’t believe he is guilty on all accounts. I agree if he ripped off medicare he wasn’t keeping his family first and deserves to be punished for whatever he actually did, not allegedly did.

    Reply
    1. Desmond Bey

      Worst case is he “overcharged” Medicare? Good to know the worst case scenario is that he is a simple, caring, God-fearing, reputable thief.

      Also, in your first comment you said “I am 100% positive he will not be guilty of all of the charges”, so in fact you did say he is 100% innocent.

      One well-written rebuttal by Nicole and you fall to pieces. Find an argument and stick with it.

      Reply
      1. zahle1

        He will not be found guilty on all of these charges. There is no doubt about it. Hey may be found guilty on other charges. If he is found guilty on some but not all charges, and or if they trumped up extra charges in an attempt to make a weaker case stick, then yes that would be exaggerated. If you know anything about healthcare, specialists, like Oncologists, are able to do “off label” treatments. He may have treated a patient longer, to ensure cancer doesn’t return. He may have given a higher does to treat it aggressively. If he did rip off Medicare, he should pay, but that doesn’t make him a devil, but a thief. If he actually is guilty of hurting people, than sukh, he should burn. Seeing another side of the man whom I personally know, I prefer to wait to condemn him. If you don’t want to wait then that is your right.

        Reply
  8. Johnnie

    When unwarranted therapy and diagnoses which have no apparent basis are reported by nursing staff and another oncologist, these are not “exaggerated” charges. These are reputable people,knowledgeable in what they do, and I don’t believe they are lying. One thing about it, the records will prove one way or the other, and I think he should remain in jail until that is done. From what I understand, chemo is no picnic, so to be subjected to it when it is not necessary, is cruel. Unfortunately, cruelty seems to be the order of the day currently; it begins with ‘c’ but the word is “care.” Let’s see if we can find where we’ve lost it.

    Reply
  9. A Voice from NY

    What’s for certain . . . nothing is ever as it seems and in the States, whether you like it or not, a person is innocent until proven guilty (or least that’s the way it should be. However, when dealing with the media, most individuals are automatically considered guilty of whatever they’re charged with because readers & viewers omit words like “accused” from what they’re reading & hearing and replace it with “s/he did it”).

    It should be interesting to see where this case goes and how things develop after discovery is issued and “unnamed sources” are finally named. One thing that surprises me is the fact that in the history of this Dr’s practice, there have only been 3 complaints ever filed against him, 2 of which have been closed and 1 pending. If families and patients were concerned, then why were no other complaints filed? Especially after employees allegedly began to blow whistles to patients & their families.

    Maybe I’m just overly suspect, especially when prosecutors admit “they acted swiftly”. Makes me wonder – how solid is their case? How “quickly” did they act and has their investigation been thorough? We’ve seen it in the past . . . where prosecutors are either on a witch hunt, overly eager or not enough due diligence and investigation has been done. As this case proceeds, only time will tell what the outcome will be.

    Either way, we shouldn’t be condemning the man as guilty without due process.

    Reply

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