There have been many, many incidents of Medicare fraud by medical providers, but this one (if true) is just awful:
The Bloomberg News reports about a Federal probe into allegations of unnecessary tracheotomies at Chicago’s Sacred Heart Hospital. Bloomberg reports, “Based in part on surreptitious tape recordings, an FBI affidavit lays out allegations that a Sacred Heart pulmonologist kept patients too sedated to breathe on their own, then ordered unneeded tracheotomies for them — enabling the for-profit hospital to reap revenue of as much as $160,000 per case. The Sacred Heart case is unusual because of the troubling nature of some of the allegations, said Ryan Stumphauzer, a former federal health care fraud prosecutor in Miami who reviewed the affidavit. ‘A typical indictment might allege phantom billing or improper coding,’ he said. ‘This complaint alleges the hospital and doctors were performing unnecessary invasive surgery to justify false billing.’”
From the American Association for Justice news release.