Doctor Accused of Diluting Chemo, Bilking Medicare Pleads Guilty

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The founder of the Rose Cancer Center, oncologist Dr. Meera Sachdeva, along with her billing agent Monica Weeks, pled guilty in U.S. District Court for their roles in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud case that put many patients at serious risk while allowing Sachdeva to bilk health insurers and patients for their own profits.

The Rose Cancer Center was located in the south Mississippi town of Summit in 2005. Prosecutors claim that Sachdeva re-used old needles, diluted chemotherapy drugs administered at the cancer center and massively overbilled insurance companies in the pursuit of profits. Her fraudulent charges to Medicare and Medicaid total over $15 million alone, not including billing to private insurers.

Ultimately the defendants have pled guilty to one count of health care fraud and two counts of making false statements. They are now staring at a possible 20-year prison sentence—significantly lower than the 165 possible years they had faced had they been convicted on all of the original counts. By pleading guilty, Sachdeva and her co-defendant reached a deal to have some of the other charges against them dropped.

In court, Sachdeva's lawyer did the talking, denying the charge of diluting chemotherapeutic drugs administered at the cancer center, which is far and away the most serious and most dispicable charge.

One patient reported to the Associated Press that he developed a pair of bacterial infections following treatment at the Rose Cancer Center and faces possible infection from several serious viruses. Later it was determined by the Mississippi Health Department that 11 patients developed similar bacterial infections, which led the department to shut down Sachdeva's clinic in July of 2011.

Sachdeva and Weeks are to be sentenced in October.

Source: Huffington Post

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