Update – The wages of sin in Maryland – a mild slap on the wrist

In response to several requests, click on the link for details on charges pending against Maryland Orthopedics physicians.

When a doc knowingly overtreats, increasing the risk of adverse outcomes, potentially harming patients, and drives up costs with little apparent regard for patient safety or approopriate treatment, one would hope they’d be sanctioned pretty harshly.

Not in Maryland. 

Jen Jordan reports “This group of physicians [Franchetti et al] routinely performed injective therapies regardless of efficacy, up-coded (say for instance a sciatic nerve block when only trigger point injections were performed or claimed multiple level or bilateral procedures when the facts didn’t line up), dispensed excessive quantities of drugs at extremely inflated prices from within their own offices (despite the many retail pharmacies within a mile of their various locations) on top of the ineffective injective therapies with little to no detail in the medical record other than prescriptions were renewed so as not to draw attention to the quantity and dose, and essentially bilked insurers in Maryland out of millions of dollars over at least the last decade if not longer. They put patients’ lives in danger.”

Did the doc in question, one Michael Franchetti of Maryland Orthopedics, lose his license?  Was his license suspended?  Go to jail?

No.

He’s on probation, has to have a few of his cases peer-reviewed, pays a nominal fine to the state board of physicians, and complete a few tutorials on ethics and billing.

Oh, and he’s still a “HealthGrades recognized doctor” too; so much for those doc rating sites…

Yep, he’s still “treating” patients, sticking needles into people and prescribing opioids, continuing on as if nothing had happened.

This is a travesty, a sick joke, a blatant disregard for patient safety, a complete abdication of responsibility on the part of the Maryland State Board of Physicians.

The conduct of this…”physician”, his overtreatment and overbilling and wanton disregard for patient safety is stunning, as is the pathetic penalty he’s paying.

One patient received 50 steroid injections over a four year period, and 34 scripts for controlled substances – which were dispensed by this doc’s practice – at prices up to 17 times the retail price for the drugs.

Another patient allegedly received 140 nerve blocks over 14 years along with 150 scripts for controlled substances.

If you aren’t outraged/disgusted/shocked, you can read the consent order agreed to by this poor excuse for a physician here.

So, what does it take to get your medical license suspended or revoked in Maryland?  Turns out, the Maryland Board of Physicians has a long history of lax enforcement, handing out relatively mild sanctions if and when it finally got around to doing anything. 

Jen’s outraged.  And you should be too.

 

7 thoughts on “Update – The wages of sin in Maryland – a mild slap on the wrist

    • Maryland has been very progressive in limiting self referral. (Surgical specialists are not allowed to refer to their own crosssectional imaging devices -MRI/CT etc.). I am prettysure that on a routine basis in every state a fair amount of suspect “pain-managemnt” goes on in surgical specialists offices and surgical centers.

  1. There is no doubt that the censure of Dr. Franchetti is not commensurate with the misdeeds, but I am perplexed: How could this course of behavior on the part of the physician go unchallenged by the work comp carrier’s adjusting staff and medical cost control vendors?

  2. Mr. Galascione: You should read the Order from the MD Board of Phyisicians. It was the insurance carrier who filed the complaint after their IMEs and internal audits identified/detected the excessive treatment and fraudulent billing practices.

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