FBI Requests Five UCI Doctors’ Records
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has subpoenaed records related to five doctors involved with the University of California-Irvine Medical Center's liver transplant program and will determine whether the program fraudulently billed government health programs for services, according to a source familiar with the case, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The hospital's liver program closed in November 2005 after it was found that 32 patients on the waiting list died in 2004 and 2005, while the program rejected organs because it was understaffed. The subpoena, which includes requests for compensation information, is part of an investigation by FBI and HHS.
The investigation, in part, will seek to determine whether the program improperly billed government health care programs for services. By 2004, the program almost exclusively treated patients covered by Medicare, Medi-Cal and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The investigation also appears to deal with a July 2004 meeting between UCI and United Network for Organ Sharing officials, according to UC attorney Margaret Holm. An internal UCI investigation found that statements made to UNOS about hiring a full-time transplant surgeon to maintain program operations were "not wholly accurate."
At this time, no one has been charged in the case (Berthelsen/Lin, Los Angeles Times, 4/26).