Emory University Fraud…The Unraveling Of Closely Held Secrets


In my impromptu alliance with Proprietor Nation in investigating and exposing the plethora of bilking the federal government of untold millions of tax payer’s money perpetrated by Emory University, Proprietor Nation brings my readers the following article:

Emory University: Unraveling Sealed Records

Rather than await a court order, Emory and Grady ought to open the records for public inspection immediately. Emory, which supplies most of the attending physicians and residents-in-training at Grady, has already indicated it is willing for the full file to be unsealed if Murtagh, who no longer is employed by Emory, agrees.

Grady, which turned down Shafer’s request for the records several weeks ago, should follow suit. If Grady is concerned that patient records might become public as a result, it can ask that those specific records be exempted or redacted.

Murtagh apparently sued Emory and Grady several times in 2000, alleging, among other things, that Emory broke a deal to name him chief of the pulmonary department. He also alleged that Emory and Grady conspired to defraud Medicare and Medicaid in how the two government health insurance programs compensated Grady and the medical school doctors for patient care at the hospital. Murtagh said he was cooperating with federal investigators, but no apparent federal action was taken against Grady or the medical school.

In response, Kent Alexander and Tim Jefferson, both legal counsels for Grady and Emory, wrote this

The AJC’s Oct. 5 editorial “Come clean on lawsuit” resurrects (and misstates) old charges of conspiring to misuse government funds, charges the government reviewed seven years ago and declined to pursue. This has the devastating effect of casting public suspicion on two entities — Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory University — that are working together in an increasingly challenging environment to meet the health needs of the most vulnerable members of our society.

The editorial surprisingly calls on Emory and Grady to open the sealed settlement and court records in a case involving Dr. James Murtagh. For the record, Emory and Grady did not move to seal the record; Murtagh did. Emory had already supported unsealing the proceedings — the complete, entire record — as had Grady. We simply awaited the doctor and court’s approval.Judge Wendy Shoob has since unsealed the record, which is now of course fully open to the public. The real victim in all of this is Grady, the largest public health hospital in the Southeast. Grady is struggling to survive while misinformation circulates that, unintentionally or intentionally, diverts attention from the real issues.

Now, what they are talking about is a settlement between Dr. James Murtagh, former professor of pulmonology (anything related to the lungs) at Emory, and on staff at Grady for several years and at the V.A. hospital for another year. Now, I have already discussed in some detail the kind of corruption at both hospitals that lead to patients being taken care of by medical students with no supervision. What Dr. Murtagh alleged actually happened several years prior in the late 1990’s.

Now, a couple months ago State Senator David Shafer was alerted to the settlement between Murtagh and Emory and he lead a group of six senators to unseal the records. Besides the incendiary nature of Murtagh’s charges, Grady was one of the defendants in the case. If they settled and paid Murtagh then since Grady is a public hospital tax payer money was used. Here is how he saw it.

I have not yet seen any of the newly unsealed documents but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Grady and Emory agreed to pay Dr. Murtagh the whopping sum of $1.6 million to settle his original whistleblower retaliation claims in 2001.

If Dr. Murtagh’s allegations were completely unfounded, why was he paid a single penny, let alone $1.6 million?

There are a couple errors in the AJC story. The documents unsealed today were from a case filed in late 2004 and pending until very recently, not the original whistleblower case settled in 2001. The more recent case was litigated under seal not at Dr. Murtagh’s request but because the 2001 settlement agreement required it.

Well, in fact Murtagh was paid $1.6 million,

defraud the U.S. government of millions of dollars through an improper use of federal funds in compensating Emory and Grady employees. Grady is a teaching
hospital where most Emory medical students are trained.

During the hearing on unsealing the case Friday, Emory and Grady attorneys denied that the facilities had done anything wrong.

While the entire case file was not available Friday, comments during the hearing and some Emory court papers shed some light on the case.

The two facilities entered into a settlement in 2001 that paid Murtagh and his attorneys about $1.6 million over 10 years. He has received about $550,000 so far. Emory paid the lion’s share of the settlement with Grady contributing about $100,000.

While the sheer number of the settlement should raise all eyebrows especially when it is coupled with what I have reported about whistleblower and former medical student Kevin Kuritzky and and what I found from Dr. Samuel Newcom (who is also now under gag order though he wrote this beforehand), what is really interesting and not being reported is the details of the agreement.

I have been able to also see the settlement agreement and, besides paying Murtagh $1.6 million, which incidentally was to be spread over about ten years, the two parties agreed to a total blackout. Neither side was to speak to anyone. In fact, even if Dr. Murtagh was supboenad before testifying he had to get the judge’s permission to testify and allow time for his testimony to be squashed. In other words, Murtagh was paid a big sum of money and he has been incommunicado ever since. Now, where I come from that is called hush money.

Thus, first when Alexander and Jefferson wrote that reply to the AJC editorial, it appears to this non lawyer that they were themselves violating the terms of the deal. Second, when they claimed that it was Murtagh that wanted the records sealed, they picked an easy target since they knew that he couldn’t speak or risk jail. Third, and most importantly their assertion that it was Murtagh that fought to keep the records sealed defies all logic. Murtagh alleged all sorts of dastardly deeds by his employer. He was retaliated against, and then he sued. The suit was settled which included him getting a seven figure payout and a total blackout on both sides.

Now, in order to believe that Murtagh is the one that wants this kept quiet, one would need to believe that not only did Emory and Grady agree to pay him $1.6 million but he also got them to agree to keep quiet about the case. I know how hush money works, and one person is paid and that same person is told to be quiet. Thus, when Jefferson and Alexander claim that their side wanted the records unsealed all along, not only are they most likely violating the very agreement they signed, but they are being totally disingenuous.

Of course, Emory is more that welcome to respond and I do believe they know about my blog.

Incidentally, if you want to hear Kuritzky in his own words follow the link and play the audio

This is a continuation of very ugly wrongs in regards to improper and quite possibly illegal health care of many patients, among those, veterans which served this country. There can be no spin or explanations acceptable as to the driving force of financial gain at the expense at proper medical care.

Heads need to roll and prison is in order for those responsible for this home-grown travesty.

Period.

cross posted by Snooper

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Emory University Fraud…The Unraveling Of Closely Held Secrets


In my impromptu alliance with Proprietor Nation in investigating and exposing the plethora of bilking the federal government of untold millions of tax payer’s money perpetrated by Emory University, Proprietor Nation brings my readers the following article:

Emory University: Unraveling Sealed Records

Rather than await a court order, Emory and Grady ought to open the records for public inspection immediately. Emory, which supplies most of the attending physicians and residents-in-training at Grady, has already indicated it is willing for the full file to be unsealed if Murtagh, who no longer is employed by Emory, agrees.

Grady, which turned down Shafer’s request for the records several weeks ago, should follow suit. If Grady is concerned that patient records might become public as a result, it can ask that those specific records be exempted or redacted.

Murtagh apparently sued Emory and Grady several times in 2000, alleging, among other things, that Emory broke a deal to name him chief of the pulmonary department. He also alleged that Emory and Grady conspired to defraud Medicare and Medicaid in how the two government health insurance programs compensated Grady and the medical school doctors for patient care at the hospital. Murtagh said he was cooperating with federal investigators, but no apparent federal action was taken against Grady or the medical school.

In response, Kent Alexander and Tim Jefferson, both legal counsels for Grady and Emory, wrote this

The AJC’s Oct. 5 editorial “Come clean on lawsuit” resurrects (and misstates) old charges of conspiring to misuse government funds, charges the government reviewed seven years ago and declined to pursue. This has the devastating effect of casting public suspicion on two entities — Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory University — that are working together in an increasingly challenging environment to meet the health needs of the most vulnerable members of our society.

The editorial surprisingly calls on Emory and Grady to open the sealed settlement and court records in a case involving Dr. James Murtagh. For the record, Emory and Grady did not move to seal the record; Murtagh did. Emory had already supported unsealing the proceedings — the complete, entire record — as had Grady. We simply awaited the doctor and court’s approval.Judge Wendy Shoob has since unsealed the record, which is now of course fully open to the public. The real victim in all of this is Grady, the largest public health hospital in the Southeast. Grady is struggling to survive while misinformation circulates that, unintentionally or intentionally, diverts attention from the real issues.

Now, what they are talking about is a settlement between Dr. James Murtagh, former professor of pulmonology (anything related to the lungs) at Emory, and on staff at Grady for several years and at the V.A. hospital for another year. Now, I have already discussed in some detail the kind of corruption at both hospitals that lead to patients being taken care of by medical students with no supervision. What Dr. Murtagh alleged actually happened several years prior in the late 1990’s.

Now, a couple months ago State Senator David Shafer was alerted to the settlement between Murtagh and Emory and he lead a group of six senators to unseal the records. Besides the incendiary nature of Murtagh’s charges, Grady was one of the defendants in the case. If they settled and paid Murtagh then since Grady is a public hospital tax payer money was used. Here is how he saw it.

I have not yet seen any of the newly unsealed documents but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Grady and Emory agreed to pay Dr. Murtagh the whopping sum of $1.6 million to settle his original whistleblower retaliation claims in 2001.

If Dr. Murtagh’s allegations were completely unfounded, why was he paid a single penny, let alone $1.6 million?

There are a couple errors in the AJC story. The documents unsealed today were from a case filed in late 2004 and pending until very recently, not the original whistleblower case settled in 2001. The more recent case was litigated under seal not at Dr. Murtagh’s request but because the 2001 settlement agreement required it.

Well, in fact Murtagh was paid $1.6 million,

defraud the U.S. government of millions of dollars through an improper use of federal funds in compensating Emory and Grady employees. Grady is a teaching
hospital where most Emory medical students are trained.

During the hearing on unsealing the case Friday, Emory and Grady attorneys denied that the facilities had done anything wrong.

While the entire case file was not available Friday, comments during the hearing and some Emory court papers shed some light on the case.

The two facilities entered into a settlement in 2001 that paid Murtagh and his attorneys about $1.6 million over 10 years. He has received about $550,000 so far. Emory paid the lion’s share of the settlement with Grady contributing about $100,000.

While the sheer number of the settlement should raise all eyebrows especially when it is coupled with what I have reported about whistleblower and former medical student Kevin Kuritzky and and what I found from Dr. Samuel Newcom (who is also now under gag order though he wrote this beforehand), what is really interesting and not being reported is the details of the agreement.

I have been able to also see the settlement agreement and, besides paying Murtagh $1.6 million, which incidentally was to be spread over about ten years, the two parties agreed to a total blackout. Neither side was to speak to anyone. In fact, even if Dr. Murtagh was supboenad before testifying he had to get the judge’s permission to testify and allow time for his testimony to be squashed. In other words, Murtagh was paid a big sum of money and he has been incommunicado ever since. Now, where I come from that is called hush money.

Thus, first when Alexander and Jefferson wrote that reply to the AJC editorial, it appears to this non lawyer that they were themselves violating the terms of the deal. Second, when they claimed that it was Murtagh that wanted the records sealed, they picked an easy target since they knew that he couldn’t speak or risk jail. Third, and most importantly their assertion that it was Murtagh that fought to keep the records sealed defies all logic. Murtagh alleged all sorts of dastardly deeds by his employer. He was retaliated against, and then he sued. The suit was settled which included him getting a seven figure payout and a total blackout on both sides.

Now, in order to believe that Murtagh is the one that wants this kept quiet, one would need to believe that not only did Emory and Grady agree to pay him $1.6 million but he also got them to agree to keep quiet about the case. I know how hush money works, and one person is paid and that same person is told to be quiet. Thus, when Jefferson and Alexander claim that their side wanted the records unsealed all along, not only are they most likely violating the very agreement they signed, but they are being totally disingenuous.

Of course, Emory is more that welcome to respond and I do believe they know about my blog.

Incidentally, if you want to hear Kuritzky in his own words follow the link and play the audio

This is a continuation of very ugly wrongs in regards to improper and quite possibly illegal health care of many patients, among those, veterans which served this country. There can be no spin or explanations acceptable as to the driving force of financial gain at the expense at proper medical care.

Heads need to roll and prison is in order for those responsible for this home-grown travesty.

Period.

cross posted by Snooper

Fraud At Emory U Updated!

Holy Crow!!

This JUST in from Proprietor Nation in regards to the Emory medical school and medical facility. For the entire article, go here. (you will have to register)

[…]

The Judge in the law suit brought by my guest tonight has had some findings. Tune into the show…this is going to be a hoot!!

They were given 30 days, according to Georgia law, though, according to Kuritzky they took even longer than that, and then according to file no. 06CV2066-1, the judge, Robert J. Castellani, issued his findings.

To item one the finding was

the defendants say they have destroyed these documents, thus, willful spoilation is admitted

To item two

the defendants have not produced all of these documents and there is no excuse for the same not to be produced

to item three

Dr. Zaidan and Dr. Heilpern’s email accounts should have these communications even if defendants have destroyed the hard copy from plaintiff’s email account, and thus defendants are in contempt

to item 4

the defendants claim all of these documents have been dstroyed, thus,
willful spoilation is admitted

to item 5

there is no excuse for these documents not being produced, thus,
defendants are in willful contempt

to item 6

even if plaintiff’s student email account has been deleted by the defendants resulting in willful spoilation, the accounts of others still at Emory should provide these documents

(but didn’t)

to item 7

the defendants have failed to produce all communications since plaintiff’s
expulsion without excuse

to item 8

each of these individuals received and sent emails from and to plaintiff
and their respective email accounts should have documents requested

to item 9

Emory is shown to have violated its own retention policy

It should be noted that Emory’s own retention policy stated that documents must be kept for up to five years depending on the document and thus Emory violated its own policies along with this particular order. While the findings were harsh, the judge didn’t actually issue a ruling in the case at that particular time.

[…]

Someone is in deep yuck here…

cross post from Snooper

Fraud At Emory U Updated!

Holy Crow!!

This JUST in from Proprietor Nation in regards to the Emory medical school and medical facility. For the entire article, go here. (you will have to register)

[…]

The Judge in the law suit brought by my guest tonight has had some findings. Tune into the show…this is going to be a hoot!!

They were given 30 days, according to Georgia law, though, according to Kuritzky they took even longer than that, and then according to file no. 06CV2066-1, the judge, Robert J. Castellani, issued his findings.

To item one the finding was

the defendants say they have destroyed these documents, thus, willful spoilation is admitted

To item two

the defendants have not produced all of these documents and there is no excuse for the same not to be produced

to item three

Dr. Zaidan and Dr. Heilpern’s email accounts should have these communications even if defendants have destroyed the hard copy from plaintiff’s email account, and thus defendants are in contempt

to item 4

the defendants claim all of these documents have been dstroyed, thus,
willful spoilation is admitted

to item 5

there is no excuse for these documents not being produced, thus,
defendants are in willful contempt

to item 6

even if plaintiff’s student email account has been deleted by the defendants resulting in willful spoilation, the accounts of others still at Emory should provide these documents

(but didn’t)

to item 7

the defendants have failed to produce all communications since plaintiff’s
expulsion without excuse

to item 8

each of these individuals received and sent emails from and to plaintiff
and their respective email accounts should have documents requested

to item 9

Emory is shown to have violated its own retention policy

It should be noted that Emory’s own retention policy stated that documents must be kept for up to five years depending on the document and thus Emory violated its own policies along with this particular order. While the findings were harsh, the judge didn’t actually issue a ruling in the case at that particular time.

[…]

Someone is in deep yuck here…

cross post from Snooper

Corruption at Emory University:Opening a Pandora’s Box…UPDATED

By another Special Request, I bring you Proprietor Nation, a cross-post:

When Erick, at Redstate, published a piece about corruption at Emory University, I thought it was an interesting story and I published a follow up on my own blog. At the time, I had no idea the Pandora’s box that I had opened.

Last night, I had a three hour conversation with a whistleblower by the name of Kevin Kuritzky. Kevin was 41 days from graduating from medical school at Emory University when he was expelled.

Emory claims Kuritzky was dismissed for “plagiarism, repeatedly missing required clerkship training involving patient care, lying to his professors, and engaging in other unprofessional, dishonest and unethical conduct.”

But according to a complaint filed Jan. 31 in DeKalb County Superior Court, Kuritzky believes something else was a factor in his expulsion.

Kuritzky claims in the lawsuit that Emory officials kicked him out after he complained about patient safety and possible health care violations at Grady Memorial Hospital and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Both medical centers are associated with Emory’s medical school.

Well, what Kevin told me last night could never be summed up in one blog post. In fact, it is ripe for a book and a movie, and so I will be featuring a series of blogs about this matter.

In my first, I want to talk about how Emory’s corrupt practices lead to poor people and Veteran’s receiving egregiously below standard care because it was simply unprofitable for Emory to provide good care.

Emory runs a handful of hospitals in their Emory University Health Care System. Grady is the largest however because it serves the indigent, the poor, it is also the most unprofitable. Because of this peculiar relationship in their mix of hospitals, this is what ultimately lead to what Erick described as double dipping. What this meant was that residents and attendings who were supposed to be on call at Grady and the VA hospital would leave and go to one of their more profitable hospitals like the Emory University Medical Center.

At Grady almost everyone was either on Medicare or Medicaid or even worse they had no insurance. This meant that no matter how extensive their treatment their bills were limited. In fact, Grady merely paid Emory University a one time fee once per year regardless of the services provided. At the other hospitals the attendings and residents could charge the patients for their services and since the patients were much more affluent they could afford the extensive services the Emory doctors provided. Emory would then profit much more from extensive care provided at one of those hospitals than they ever would from providing extensive care Grady or at the VA.

What this lead to was residents and attendings who were supposed to be on duty at Grady or at the VA, leaving their posts and heading over to one of the other hospitals like Emory Medical Center. As a result medical students, like Kevin, were left in charge of entire floors of patients. Kevin said that he himself was left in charge on 5 different occasions. Doing this is like leaving a flame on. Most times nothing will go wrong but it is only a matter of time before the flame catches on fire.

One night that is what happened. One time he was left in charge of the entire step down unit from 4 PM to 2AM. The first emergency came from one patient who was recovering from lung surgery. The patient’s lung collapsed and Kevin was called in to save his life. The patient was suffocating and time was of the essence. Kevin was panicked and needed to move quick. He needed to find a chest tube, but because of his own inexperience, he didn’t know where they kept the chest tubes. In a rush, he did the only thing he could think of at the time. He grabbed the dirty chest tube that had already been used on the patient and injected into their lungs.

Next, Kevin was asked to read an x ray of the patient’s lungs to determine if they were stable. This is again not something a medical student is supposed to do on their own and without supervision but since their was no supervision there wasn’t much choice. Kevin gave it his best estimation and determined the patient was fine however as it turns out that was just a lucky guess. This patient survived but it had nothing to do with the type of care that was provided them at Grady.

On the same night, Kevin, again being the head doctor on the floor, was asked to save a patient from internal bleeding who was recovering from a heart attack. He was first asked to perform a hematocrit level test , which measures the amount of internal bleeding and then perform a blood transfusion on the patient. Again, he did this all without proper supervision.

The most egregious lack of quality health care that Kevin documented came with patients that came in for potential heart attacks. In order to determine whether or not a patient is in fact having a heart attack doctors perform what is known as a cardiac enzymes test. Proper procedure is to perform this test within 90 minutes since of course time is of the essence in a case of a heart attack. According to Kevin’s documentation, the average wait time for performing such a test was about seventeen hours.

There is really only two reasons why a test that needs to be done in 90 minutes would be done in roughly 17 hours. The first is simple negligence. The doctors just didn’t care or maybe they were incompetent which is also possible since as I documented many times the doctors in charge were themselves medical students.

The second reason is even more nefarious. If it is determined that someone is having a heart attack, then there needs to be a battery of tests, surgery, and weeks of recovery. This would cost a lot of money for the hospital and by extension Emory University. Since the patient on Medicare, Medicaid, or worse without insurance altogether, has limited funds, it is much more cost effective if that patient died.

This is only the first in my series. Anyone that wants to speak with Kevin themselves please contact me and I will get you his information.

Soon coming, an exclusive interview…

UPDATE is below:

The Blog Talk Radio exclusive will be here…all times are Texas time, CST.

cross post by Snooper

Corruption at Emory University:Opening a Pandora’s Box…UPDATED

By another Special Request, I bring you Proprietor Nation, a cross-post:

When Erick, at Redstate, published a piece about corruption at Emory University, I thought it was an interesting story and I published a follow up on my own blog. At the time, I had no idea the Pandora’s box that I had opened.

Last night, I had a three hour conversation with a whistleblower by the name of Kevin Kuritzky. Kevin was 41 days from graduating from medical school at Emory University when he was expelled.

Emory claims Kuritzky was dismissed for “plagiarism, repeatedly missing required clerkship training involving patient care, lying to his professors, and engaging in other unprofessional, dishonest and unethical conduct.”

But according to a complaint filed Jan. 31 in DeKalb County Superior Court, Kuritzky believes something else was a factor in his expulsion.

Kuritzky claims in the lawsuit that Emory officials kicked him out after he complained about patient safety and possible health care violations at Grady Memorial Hospital and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Both medical centers are associated with Emory’s medical school.

Well, what Kevin told me last night could never be summed up in one blog post. In fact, it is ripe for a book and a movie, and so I will be featuring a series of blogs about this matter.

In my first, I want to talk about how Emory’s corrupt practices lead to poor people and Veteran’s receiving egregiously below standard care because it was simply unprofitable for Emory to provide good care.

Emory runs a handful of hospitals in their Emory University Health Care System. Grady is the largest however because it serves the indigent, the poor, it is also the most unprofitable. Because of this peculiar relationship in their mix of hospitals, this is what ultimately lead to what Erick described as double dipping. What this meant was that residents and attendings who were supposed to be on call at Grady and the VA hospital would leave and go to one of their more profitable hospitals like the Emory University Medical Center.

At Grady almost everyone was either on Medicare or Medicaid or even worse they had no insurance. This meant that no matter how extensive their treatment their bills were limited. In fact, Grady merely paid Emory University a one time fee once per year regardless of the services provided. At the other hospitals the attendings and residents could charge the patients for their services and since the patients were much more affluent they could afford the extensive services the Emory doctors provided. Emory would then profit much more from extensive care provided at one of those hospitals than they ever would from providing extensive care Grady or at the VA.

What this lead to was residents and attendings who were supposed to be on duty at Grady or at the VA, leaving their posts and heading over to one of the other hospitals like Emory Medical Center. As a result medical students, like Kevin, were left in charge of entire floors of patients. Kevin said that he himself was left in charge on 5 different occasions. Doing this is like leaving a flame on. Most times nothing will go wrong but it is only a matter of time before the flame catches on fire.

One night that is what happened. One time he was left in charge of the entire step down unit from 4 PM to 2AM. The first emergency came from one patient who was recovering from lung surgery. The patient’s lung collapsed and Kevin was called in to save his life. The patient was suffocating and time was of the essence. Kevin was panicked and needed to move quick. He needed to find a chest tube, but because of his own inexperience, he didn’t know where they kept the chest tubes. In a rush, he did the only thing he could think of at the time. He grabbed the dirty chest tube that had already been used on the patient and injected into their lungs.

Next, Kevin was asked to read an x ray of the patient’s lungs to determine if they were stable. This is again not something a medical student is supposed to do on their own and without supervision but since their was no supervision there wasn’t much choice. Kevin gave it his best estimation and determined the patient was fine however as it turns out that was just a lucky guess. This patient survived but it had nothing to do with the type of care that was provided them at Grady.

On the same night, Kevin, again being the head doctor on the floor, was asked to save a patient from internal bleeding who was recovering from a heart attack. He was first asked to perform a hematocrit level test , which measures the amount of internal bleeding and then perform a blood transfusion on the patient. Again, he did this all without proper supervision.

The most egregious lack of quality health care that Kevin documented came with patients that came in for potential heart attacks. In order to determine whether or not a patient is in fact having a heart attack doctors perform what is known as a cardiac enzymes test. Proper procedure is to perform this test within 90 minutes since of course time is of the essence in a case of a heart attack. According to Kevin’s documentation, the average wait time for performing such a test was about seventeen hours.

There is really only two reasons why a test that needs to be done in 90 minutes would be done in roughly 17 hours. The first is simple negligence. The doctors just didn’t care or maybe they were incompetent which is also possible since as I documented many times the doctors in charge were themselves medical students.

The second reason is even more nefarious. If it is determined that someone is having a heart attack, then there needs to be a battery of tests, surgery, and weeks of recovery. This would cost a lot of money for the hospital and by extension Emory University. Since the patient on Medicare, Medicaid, or worse without insurance altogether, has limited funds, it is much more cost effective if that patient died.

This is only the first in my series. Anyone that wants to speak with Kevin themselves please contact me and I will get you his information.

Soon coming, an exclusive interview…

UPDATE is below:

The Blog Talk Radio exclusive will be here…all times are Texas time, CST.

cross post by Snooper

Corruption at Emory University:Opening a Pandora’s Box…UPDATED

By another Special Request, I bring you Proprietor Nation, a cross-post:

When Erick, at Redstate, published a piece about corruption at Emory University, I thought it was an interesting story and I published a follow up on my own blog. At the time, I had no idea the Pandora’s box that I had opened.

Last night, I had a three hour conversation with a whistleblower by the name of Kevin Kuritzky. Kevin was 41 days from graduating from medical school at Emory University when he was expelled.

Emory claims Kuritzky was dismissed for “plagiarism, repeatedly missing required clerkship training involving patient care, lying to his professors, and engaging in other unprofessional, dishonest and unethical conduct.”

But according to a complaint filed Jan. 31 in DeKalb County Superior Court, Kuritzky believes something else was a factor in his expulsion.

Kuritzky claims in the lawsuit that Emory officials kicked him out after he complained about patient safety and possible health care violations at Grady Memorial Hospital and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Both medical centers are associated with Emory’s medical school.

Well, what Kevin told me last night could never be summed up in one blog post. In fact, it is ripe for a book and a movie, and so I will be featuring a series of blogs about this matter.

In my first, I want to talk about how Emory’s corrupt practices lead to poor people and Veteran’s receiving egregiously below standard care because it was simply unprofitable for Emory to provide good care.

Emory runs a handful of hospitals in their Emory University Health Care System. Grady is the largest however because it serves the indigent, the poor, it is also the most unprofitable. Because of this peculiar relationship in their mix of hospitals, this is what ultimately lead to what Erick described as double dipping. What this meant was that residents and attendings who were supposed to be on call at Grady and the VA hospital would leave and go to one of their more profitable hospitals like the Emory University Medical Center.

At Grady almost everyone was either on Medicare or Medicaid or even worse they had no insurance. This meant that no matter how extensive their treatment their bills were limited. In fact, Grady merely paid Emory University a one time fee once per year regardless of the services provided. At the other hospitals the attendings and residents could charge the patients for their services and since the patients were much more affluent they could afford the extensive services the Emory doctors provided. Emory would then profit much more from extensive care provided at one of those hospitals than they ever would from providing extensive care Grady or at the VA.

What this lead to was residents and attendings who were supposed to be on duty at Grady or at the VA, leaving their posts and heading over to one of the other hospitals like Emory Medical Center. As a result medical students, like Kevin, were left in charge of entire floors of patients. Kevin said that he himself was left in charge on 5 different occasions. Doing this is like leaving a flame on. Most times nothing will go wrong but it is only a matter of time before the flame catches on fire.

One night that is what happened. One time he was left in charge of the entire step down unit from 4 PM to 2AM. The first emergency came from one patient who was recovering from lung surgery. The patient’s lung collapsed and Kevin was called in to save his life. The patient was suffocating and time was of the essence. Kevin was panicked and needed to move quick. He needed to find a chest tube, but because of his own inexperience, he didn’t know where they kept the chest tubes. In a rush, he did the only thing he could think of at the time. He grabbed the dirty chest tube that had already been used on the patient and injected into their lungs.

Next, Kevin was asked to read an x ray of the patient’s lungs to determine if they were stable. This is again not something a medical student is supposed to do on their own and without supervision but since their was no supervision there wasn’t much choice. Kevin gave it his best estimation and determined the patient was fine however as it turns out that was just a lucky guess. This patient survived but it had nothing to do with the type of care that was provided them at Grady.

On the same night, Kevin, again being the head doctor on the floor, was asked to save a patient from internal bleeding who was recovering from a heart attack. He was first asked to perform a hematocrit level test , which measures the amount of internal bleeding and then perform a blood transfusion on the patient. Again, he did this all without proper supervision.

The most egregious lack of quality health care that Kevin documented came with patients that came in for potential heart attacks. In order to determine whether or not a patient is in fact having a heart attack doctors perform what is known as a cardiac enzymes test. Proper procedure is to perform this test within 90 minutes since of course time is of the essence in a case of a heart attack. According to Kevin’s documentation, the average wait time for performing such a test was about seventeen hours.

There is really only two reasons why a test that needs to be done in 90 minutes would be done in roughly 17 hours. The first is simple negligence. The doctors just didn’t care or maybe they were incompetent which is also possible since as I documented many times the doctors in charge were themselves medical students.

The second reason is even more nefarious. If it is determined that someone is having a heart attack, then there needs to be a battery of tests, surgery, and weeks of recovery. This would cost a lot of money for the hospital and by extension Emory University. Since the patient on Medicare, Medicaid, or worse without insurance altogether, has limited funds, it is much more cost effective if that patient died.

This is only the first in my series. Anyone that wants to speak with Kevin themselves please contact me and I will get you his information.

Soon coming, an exclusive interview…

UPDATE is below:

The Blog Talk Radio exclusive will be here…all times are Texas time, CST.

cross post by Snooper