University of Missouri Health System Radiology Review
June 1, 2012
Several months ago, we were informed by the United States Attorney's Office in Kansas City, of an investigation into possible billing fraud against Medicare and other federal health care programs served by the Medical School's Department of Radiology.
In addition to cooperating with the government's investigation, we retained an outside law firm, Shook, Hardy & Bacon to investigate.
This investigation has been extremely thorough. We have interviewed dozens of individuals and have painstakingly analyzed millions of lines of computer data. Our approach was to conduct this investigation in a self-critical way, and to follow the facts wherever they led.
The preliminary results of that investigation became available to University leadership last week.
While the investigation continues, those initial results were troubling enough that we held a press conference to announce them today (June 1).
We believe that two radiologists violated Medicare and hospital rules by claiming they had performed services that were actually done by resident physicians.
The two radiologists involved are Dr. Kenneth Rall and Dr. Michael Richards. During much of the time this practice was going on, Dr. Rall was the chair of the Department of Radiology.
While our investigation is continuing, we believe this misconduct was confined to these two doctors.
Effective today, Dr. Kenneth Rall and Dr. Michael Richards no longer have any employment relationship with the University of Missouri Health System.
In addition to the departure of these doctors, we are beginning a comprehensive review of our systems in radiology, including adoption of process changes and software revisions with the goal of making it impossible for this to happen again.
Dean Robert Churchill feels that his prior supervision of the department of radiology and his appointment of Dr. Rall as chair may cast a cloud of doubt over the department and the school of medicine. As a result, the Dean has decided to retire and will be leaving the School of Medicine in October.
Although we have no evidence to suggest that patient care was compromised we are taking the following steps:
- We plan to have independent experts conduct an in-depth review, and advise us if additional steps are needed
- If this review suggests that any patients could benefit from further image review or testing, we will directly contact those patients and their doctors
- While this work is being done, any patient who is concerned should speak with their own doctor, who is best acquainted with their circumstances
- Additionally, patients can call us toll free at (800) 877-2372 or local at (573) 884-3300, option 1. This number will be open beginning Monday morning at 8, and will be operating from 8 am to 5 pm each business day. At the patient's request, we will re-read any of their images on our system. Or, if they prefer, we will provide those images to them to be read by an outside radiologist at our expense. Patients also may e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. They should include their name and call-back phone number in the message.