Whistleblowing is good for our health. Not necessarily the whistleblower’s health. But, while we’ve been watching the battle over whistleblower protection in Washington, insiders have been busy flagging health fraud.
As a result, there are patients out there who may have been spared unnecessary spine surgery or viscosupplementation injections. As a bonus, the rest of us won’t have to pay for them through Medicare.
In its October announcement of a $7.1 million settlement with the now defunct Osteo Relief Institutes, the Department of Justice (DOJ) describes viscosupplementation as a treatment for osteoarthritis “in which a doctor injects a gel-like fluid into a patient’s knee joint to act as a lubricant and to supplement the natural properties of joint fluid.”