A federal monitor overseeing the troubled University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, issued an end-of-the-year report, which says there are approximately 30 open investigative files based on allegations of ethical breaches or conflicts of interest at the school. The report includes one newly reported compliance failure regarding the schools trauma helicopter services: the university failed to obtain and maintain proper licensure, according to the monitor. The report also updates an investigation surrounding violations of physician self-referral and anti-kickback laws in the cardiology department of New Jersey Medical School in Newark, which is a part of UMDNJ. According to the report, the findings over the past year speak to the moral, ethical and leadership shortcomings of a relative few at UMDNJ. Unfortunately, those about whom we were forced to report due to various lapses in judgment often were in decisionmaking positions. In a statement, a UMDNJ spokeswoman said the school was pleased that the monitor has identified progress in some important areas and that he has reiterated his findings about the continued fulfillment of our academic and service missions. Regarding the trauma helicopter service, she said there seemed to be some confusion between ourselves and our colleagues in the State Police over who is responsible for regulatory requirements. She said officials will begin working immediately to resolve the issues. In 2005, UMDNJ averted criminal prosecution for healthcare fraud by agreeing to a series of financial, management and personnel reforms, including oversight by the federal monitor. -- by Cinda Becker
UMDNJ monitor issues report
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