Health Highlights: Sept. 19, 2014

Doctor Admits to Fraudulent Cancer Treatment

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Doctor Admits to Fraudulent Cancer Treatment

A Michigan cancer doctor who admitted putting patients through unnecessary chemotherapy treatments and bilking health insurers pleaded guilty to fraud Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she would seek life in prison for Dr. Farid Fata, 49, who pleaded guilty to 16 charges, including conspiracy and money laundering, the Associated Press reported.

The case is "shocking," McQuade told the AP. "It wasn't a matter of stealing money but torturing patients by lying to them about having cancer... Chemotherapy is poison intended to kill cancer cells."

Federal prosecutors said Fata, of Oakland Township, submitted claims of about $225 million to Medicare over six years for chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, all the while knowing many patients didn't have cancer. Medicare paid more than $91 million, and private insurance companies were billed too, the news report said.

Michigan Hematology Oncology, Fata's cancer clinic, had seven offices plus a cancer-detection business.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23, 2015 the AP reported.

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