As a witness for the prosecution in the Medicare fraud conspiracy trial involving Baptist Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., I take exception to the article "Is this the mob or healthcare?" (June 21, p. 60), which discusses the prosecution's aggressive tactics in the case.
In my interactions with Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway and FBI agent John Timmerberg, I witnessed only the highest degree of professionalism and ethics. I was accorded less courtesy from the defense, which cared little that I was paying my own legal bills related to my employment at Baptist from 1984-1985, or about the hassle of having my life put on hold for five weeks while the defense argued to get me thrown out of the case.
MODERN HEALTHCARE failed to mention the substandard care afforded the nursing home patients of Robert LaHue, D.O., and Ronald LaHue, D.O., the nursing home medical directors convicted of conspiring to receive bribes in exchange for patient referrals to Baptist. It was an apparent case of patient neglect from the start, with patients suffering from serious bedsores, malnutrition, inadequate treatment of chronic conditions and filthy bodies. Physicians referred to the LaHue-Baptist deal as "harvesting the elderly."
I would hope that hospital executives take note by carefully reviewing the facts presented in the government's case-and not listening to some highly compensated defense attorneys seeking more profit from a situation that should have been stopped dead in its tracks years ago.
Chief executive officer
Missouri Patient Care