October 4, 2014
Late last year, medical device maker Zimmer Holdings Inc. made two large payments to Dr. Andrew N. Pollak, chair of the University of Maryland Medical System's orthopedics department. The payments, one for $47,225 and the other for $45,902, were royalties paid to Pollak for work he did at Maryland Shock Trauma Center starting seven years ago in helping develop a clamp known as a fixator that could hold trauma patient's broken bones straight until they were ready for surgical repair.
October 3, 2014
A reader argues that overspending is the problem in Annapolis ( "Maryland's spending problem ," Sept. 29). This is a constant refrain, but then the inevitable question arises: Exactly what programs should be cut? Education? Then your kids will attend overcrowded classrooms. Transportation? Then roads will have more potholes and your commute will take longer. State inspectors? Then your food is more likely to be spoiled and your parents will be living in unsupervised retirement communities.
September 22, 2014
It is during times of crisis that we see the very "best" in our fellow Americans. First responders and other heroic professionals routinely surprise us with tremendous and often unexpected acts. The University of Maryland Shore Regional Health System represents an often overlooked group of medical professionals who perform such acts every day. My father recently suffered a massive stroke and was admitted to Shore Regional Health's Easton facility. We do not yet know whether he will survive, but we are certain he could receive no finer care.
September 18, 2014
A former Arizona state senator named Russell Pearce resigned as vice chairman of the state's Republican Party recently because he suggested that if he ran Medicaid, the first thing he'd do would be to put female recipients on birth control implants or require tubal ligation. Then he'd test all recipients for drugs and alcohol. If you want to reproduce or use drugs or alcohol, he reportedly told listeners on his radio show, "then get a job. " It's not surprising that a conservative Republican might perceive poor people as lazy and irresponsible, but the attack on Medicaid — the government-financed insurance program for the poor and working poor and, of course, the possibility of forced female sterility — was beyond the pale.
September 15, 2014
The owner of an Owings Mills medical firm is accused of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of more than $7.5 million in a federal indictment unsealed Monday. Federal prosecutors say Alpha Diagnostics owner Rafael Chikvashvili, 67, of Baltimore created false examination reports, submitted insurance claims for medical procedures that were never performed by licensed physicians, and overbilled Medicare and Medicaid, among other fraudulent acts. The X-ray company's offices in Owings Mills and Harrisburg, Pa., were raided last October by the FBI. Chikvashvili directed his employees, who were not doctors, to interpret X-rays, medical tests, ultrasounds and cardiological exams, rather than paying licensed physicians to do the work, the indictment alleged.
August 29, 2014
John Bruce Innes Jr., a former marketing executive for Genesis Health Ventures who was later a senior housing consultant, died July 22 of brain injuries suffered in a fall while he was vacationing in Greece. The Lutherville resident was 70. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Springfield, Pa., he was the son of John B. Innes Sr., a chemist, and Marion Rohrer Innes, a teacher. A 1962 graduate of Springfield High School, where he was on the school's newspaper editing staff, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at George Washington University, where he belonged to the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and was Inter-Fraternity Council president.