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Beware Those Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing
Two unrelated stories have crossed my path, but their bottom lines are the same. It’s too easy to be fooled. Story #1: … is based on a scathing article in this week’s Wall Street Journal about the amount of money medical device companies pay to the doctors who use their products. The story is mostly focused on investigations from the Justice Department starting with one doctor who lived and worked in California, Dr. Aria Sabit, who insisted on using certain spinal implant products because he owns part of the distributorship company and is making money in a half dozen ways – from kickbacks to distributorship profits – over each surgery he does. But the story-within-the-story is that Dr. Sabit is also named in 12 lawsuits over the deaths of people who died as a result of his surgeries – and who had received those implants to help them live better-quality lives. It matters little whether the fault lies with the implants or the doctor’s skill level; those patients are dead. But there’s more to the story, of course, and unfortunately, it’s not a part of the WSJ article. That is, that this Dr. Sabit has left California now, and is practicing in Michigan. A prudent patient or advocate would not easily be able to uncover Sabit’s track record of lawsuits and deaths because he hasn’t been in Michigan long enough to establish a new pattern of deaths. Further, there is not a single national repository of this kind of information for the public to search. In other words, if you are in Michigan, your client could choose this guy for back surgery and not realize that he’s a danger to back patients seeking surgery. If you look at his listing at rating’s sites, he actually looks like a good choice. It’s easy to be fooled. But what if your client died at this doctor’s hand? And what if he had been on your list of possibilities? Story #2: …is about an advocacy practice partnership that was formed based on false information and lack of background review. It involves two advocates…