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Fraudulent surgical screw scandal includes Senator bribe

This blog frequently discusses how profits are prioritized over patient safety in the U.S. health care industry. Health care is a business and everyone has to earn a living, but a recent story out of California illustrates how greed poisons the industry and lowers the quality of health care.

The story begins at Corona del Mar Hospital, a southern California institution. There, doctors conspired with machinists to make nonsurgical-grade screws to be used in surgery patients. The physicians implanted their patients with the substandard screws and billed insurers and patients for surgical-grade parts.

The deceit was part of a $500 million insurance scam that involved alleged bribes to former state Sen. Ronald Calderon, according to disgraced former Corona del Mar Hospital executive Michael Drobot.

The insurance scandal has raised eyebrows across the country. Surely California isn't the only state susceptible to complex insurance scam conspiracies?

If you have an implanted medical device that is failing you, ensure that the faulty parts are preserved after their removal. You never know: You could have been billed for a top-quality device but received something less.

Source:, "California Doctors Used Fake Hardware In Spine Surgeries, Lawsuits Say," Christina Jewett, July 3, 2014

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