Stopping health care fraud is critical to the well-being of America citizens and our overall economy. Health care fraud costs us thousands of lives and tens of billions of dollars per year.
The FBI is usually the main agency for investigating and exposing health care fraud, but their jurisdiction is limited to American Soil and cannot reach international perpetrators.
In US Cases The FBI forms investigative partnerships with other federal agencies, such as
- Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS)
- Office of Personnel Management-Office of Inspector General (OPM-OIG
- Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI)
- Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
The FBI also maintains relationships with private insurance national groups,National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association and National Insurance Crime Bureau.
For International medical tourism fraud things become more difficult.
One of the main criticisms of buying medical services via the web is that the consumer cannot know whom they are actually dealing with and end up with Travel agents who are masquerading as medical tourism facilitators.
As was the case with Dr Majid, People often spend tens of thousands of dollars for unknown treatments and their dreams of healing can turn into a nightmare.
After i started this investigation i learned that a growing number of stem cell hospitals, often in far reaching places like Russia or China claim boldly on their websites that they can treat, even cure, diseases like Parkinsons’, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s and spinal cord injury by injecting patients with stem cells.
The common theme to this companies which are usually unregulated, is having websites that offer glowing testimonials from patients. I found this to be ironic because this is exactly the tactic being used by Global Stem cells and Unique medical to lure unsuspecting patients. The videos are all taken a few days after treatment begins to give prospective patients a sense of security.
So why is this blog post important?
Its ethically important for us to prove when someone is intentionally trying to deceive and behave immorally as opposed to when someone is making an honest error. This holds especially true for doctors and medical treatments where people are desperate. This clear distinction is often used in law and ethics. In the US, the definition of medical misconduct includes the fabrication, falsification and/or plagiarism of research but does not include such acts if its a “honest error or from differences in opinion”. If stem cell tourism providers offer patients treatment options in a deceiving manner then we must hold them accountable. Since patients in the US cannot sue companies in Singapore for medical malpractice appropriate action must be taken towards those who are intentionally misbehaving or looking to harm innocent patients.