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Doctors Demand Justice for Patient Advocate Whistleblower

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Washington- No one is safe when hospitals put profit before patients. Recent revelations of continued fraud at hospitals belonging to the chain of for-profits known as the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA, formerly known as Columbia-HCA) continue to shock the conscience of a people already reeling from fraud in the banking, mortgage and financial sectors. Will a medical meltdown be next? Public safety advocates have asked Congress to mandate special protections for medical whistleblowers. HCA has faced the largest false claims suits in history, and had paid more than $1.7 Billion dollars in fines for bilking taxpayers and patients. Despite these huge payouts, HCA apparently continues the misconduct that led to its already enormous fines. With 17% of the US GNP devoted to medical care, and with increasing amounts of bailout money going to health, the need for protection has never been greater.

 

Many prominent public interest groups, including the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW) and the Semmelweis Society International (SSI), demand justice for one of the most  energetic and effective doctor-whistleblowers in the nation, Dr. Lokesh Vuyyuru. This doctor, who has done more to promote public safety and honesty in medicine, has received death threats, and suffered brutal retaliation from a corrupt hospital that used fraud and deceit, and a sham and futile peer reveiw to literally strip this eminent doctor of his medical license and livelihood.


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Vuyyuru was a cooperating witness in a prominent FBI investigation of Virginia hospitals in the HCA chain. Vuyyuru produced extensive evidence of false billing, and of patient endangerment and even death in grand jury documents, and in a string of civil suits that are ground-breaking in their defense of the rights of patients to expect quality and safe care, and for taxpayers not to be bilked for improper charges.

 

 


Vuyyuru's conscience did not permit him to stop even when he received death threats, and threats on his family. The pressure for him to stop the exposure became so intense that he sent his young child out of the country to avoid danger.

 

 


As political pressure apparently slowed the multi-faceted investigation of HCA -Virginia, Vuyyuru went to the next level and started a newspaper, The Virginia Times, to alert the public.

 

 


HCA took revenge and savagely robbed the patient advocate doctor of his livelihood. Court documents, and independent investigations by the IAW and SSI, reveal that HCA-Virginia has retaliated against Vuyyuru by falsely accusing the esteemed doctor, and using fraud to remove his medical license.

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James J. Murtagh, Jr. is a doctor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, and the Medical Director of several sleep laboratories in Southern Ohio. Dr. Murtagh extensively writes on medical ethics. Dr. Murtagh is the founder of a new (more...)
 

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