Medical Board Formally Accuses Redding Medical Center Physician of Multiple Violations
The Medical Board of California yesterday formally accused cardiologist Dr. Chae Hyun Moon, one of two physicians at Redding Medical Center under federal investigation, of gross negligence, incompetence, dishonest or corrupt acts and false or fraudulent claims, the Sacramento Bee reports (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 6/5). Last October, the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of California and the HHS Office of Inspector General began investigating Moon and heart surgeon Dr. Fidel Realyvasquez for possibly performing unneeded surgeries and potentially defrauding Medicare. According to an FBI affidavit, government officials suspect that the physicians participated in a "scheme to cause patients to undergo unnecessary invasive coronary procedures," including artery bypass and heart valve replacement surgeries (California Healthline, 4/29). The medical board accusation, which ultimately could result in the revocation or suspension of Moon's medical license, states that Moon was grossly negligent when he conducted unnecessary and invasive diagnostic cardiac procedures on one of his patients, negligent and incompetent when he misinterpreted that patient's test results and in violation of state law when he allegedly told two other patients with cardiac symptoms to complain of chest pain so Medi-Cal would cover cardiac treatment costs. Matthew Jacobs, one of Moon's attorneys, said Moon "disputes everything in this pleading, and we will fight it in the appropriate forum." Medical board Executive Director Ron Joseph said, "What we have here are three patient cases which the attorney general's office feels rise to the level of violating the state Medical Practices Act." Joseph added that the board has not finished investigations into the conduct of Moon or Realyvasquez. The medical board accusation is the first major government action in the matter since the board unsuccessfully argued in November that a Shasta Superior Court judge should temporarily suspend the two physicians' licenses (Sacramento Bee, 6/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.