In December of 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice filed indictments against 21 suspects related to their alleged involvement in a complex and widespread fraud scheme centered around a chain of high-end luxury hospitals branded as Forest Park Medical Center. There’s a shell of its flagship up Central, the building having been bought by Medical City but is still awaiting redevelopment as a specialized surgical center. The feds alleged that the foundation of Forest Park was a big scam to get high out-of-network payments from insurance companies. Some of the founding doctors involved are accused of offering and receiving kickbacks for patient referrals. The chain built six hospitals, all of which were thrown into bankruptcy as its physician founders started getting indicted. Total assets ballooned to more than $1 billion before they fell. I wrote about all this in a feature for D CEO in 2015.
Since then, 11 of the defendants have pleaded guilty. One of the founders—and the first to get popped, in 2015—was anesthesiologist Richard Toussaint, and he pleaded guilty a few months after the indictments and volunteered to testify against his colleagues. His indictment was salacious and included brazen allegations, including billing for procedures during times he was on a private jet as well as receiving surgery himself.
Will Maddox of D CEO Healthcare Daily reports that the long-awaited trial of the remaining 10 defendants began today. It’s expected to last two months.Read More