Five years after disgraced cancer doctor Farid Fata was convicted to improperly treating hundreds of patients, those patients are still waiting for financial compensation for their mistreatment.
The Detroit News reports that multiple factors have delayed payouts from a $12 million fund set up to pay victims for their pain and suffering. Due to massive over-treatments of chemotherapy -- which Fata administered to increase his income from insurance -- many of those former patients suffered lasting and permanent health effects. But the process has been beset by delays.
Last month, yet another legal hold-up surfaced when U.S. District Judge Paul Borman signed an amended order regarding a $26.4 million restitution judgment that would include funds to reimburse insurance companies for patients' medical expenses. That followed a request by the government in March for approval of $4.22 million in payments for individual victims.
In his ruling, Borman ordered that a final victim list presented by the U.S. government be approved and prohibited the disbursement of "any funds to the victims until further order of the Court."
..Cynthia Siwiecki, whose husband, Jim, died at age 55 in 2011 after being treated by Fata, said the delay in receiving restitution is wearing on her.
"I think it's horrible that we have to wait so long," said Siwiecki, a former Oakland County resident who lives in Florida. "My husband had colon cancer, he suffered for a year of chemo — even taking a bag treatment home — (and) I found out later from a radiologist that he could have had surgery. Fata was just using him for the chemotherapy money."
Fata was sentenced in 2015 to 45 years in prison, after he was convicted of defrauding Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Medicare of about $34 million in payments for nonexistent or over-treated cancers.