Doctors Go on Trial to Defend Payments for Bringing Lucrative Surgeries to Controversial Dallas Hospital

It was hailed as a new and innovative model for doctor-owned hospitals, but the Forest Park Medical Center miracle ended in bankruptcy and federal fraud indictments.The once-successful Dallas-based hospital chain that earned tens of millions of dollars from specialty surgeries is now linked in federal court documents to numerous allegations of criminality, involving multiple hospitals, physicians, pharmacies and medical businesses.Ten defendants, including four surgeons and one pain doctor, are scheduled to go on trial Wednesday in federal court in Dallas.A total of 21 people were charged in 2016 in the $200 million health care scheme, in which $40 million in bribes and kickbacks were paid to doctors, recruiters and others for drumming up patients for the hospital, according to the 47-page indictment.The other defendants, including some surgeons, have pleaded guilty and are expected to testify for the government during the trial, which could last two months.Prosecutors revealed in a recent court filing that they have evidence that some of the doctors going on trial also accepted bribes and kickbacks from other health care businesses.  Continue reading...

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