Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.
Docs in Trouble, Today’s Version
Rather than run separate summaries on the various misdeeds, here’s a roundup:
- Broward pediatrician Scott Becker pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy stemming from a pain clinic, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Becker allegedly wrote oxycodone prescriptions for most of the patients he saw in 2010 at All Pain Management.
- Miami psychiatrist Roger Rousseau and six therapists have been accused of bilking $63 million from Medicare while working at a mental-health clinic, according to the Miami Herald. Rousseau served as medical director of Health Care Solutions Network in Florida.
- Dr. Andrea Thorpe in Daytona Beach has been sued by the mother of a 4-year-old girl, who alleges that the physician failed in numerous exams over 18 months to diagnose retinoblastoma, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. The child lost her right eye, the suit says.
- Dr. Homer L. Kirkpatrick, who voluntarily relinquished his Florida medical license nearly 20 years ago amid accusations that he took sexual advantage of HIV-positive patients in Miami, has been convicted of forcible sodomy in Virginia, Miami New Times reports.