Medical Board Suspends Redding Medical Center Physician’s License Pending Investigation
The Medical Board of California will suspend the medical license of Redding Medical Center cardiologist Dr. Chae Hyun Moon pending a federal investigation into whether he performed unnecessary medical procedures to boost his income, the Sacramento Bee reports (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 7/2). The suspension comes after the board last month formally accused Moon, one of two physicians at the Redding facility under federal investigation, of gross negligence, incompetence, dishonest or corrupt acts and false or fraudulent claims. 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. The medical board accusation 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 (California Healthline, 6/5).
Under the board's suspension, Moon agreed to "refrain from performing any and all aspects of the practice and medicine" until he is either cleared by the FBI or until criminal proceedings stemming from the investigation are completed. Matthew Jacobs, Moon's attorney, said Moon agreed to the suspension "to avoid having to worry about an administrative hearing while more serious matters are pending." Deputy Attorney General Stephen Boreman, who arranged the suspension agreement, said Moon did not want to have to give testimony in a board hearing that might later be used against him in court. A hearing on the board's allegations has not yet been scheduled (AP/Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/2).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.