Updated to include documents.
“For decades we have listened to FBI and DOJ pronouncements such as, “If you see something, say something,” “no one is above the law,” “equal justice under the law”, all Americans are entitled to “due process” and the all elusive “rule of law” claim, which oftentimes is manipulated by administrative and legal jujitsu.”___________________
America is now at a stage where public corruption has reached pandemic proportions and, in my view, is the new normal in the court system and in America.
However, the general category of “public corruption” is too kind and discounts the fact that it’s really about the people who are corrupt, for motives that are truly bizarre. The collective propensity to knowingly break the law, abuse their power to harm innocent people, make a few bucks and/or ingratiate themselves with like-minded individuals is remarkable. Bad acts and law breaking can be covered up for a while, but they don’t go away.
Most Americans believe the court system is supposed to be the last line of defense to “serve and protect” the people. Most people also believe that they have a right to report crime with the expectation that an objective investigation will occur. However, when the court system is used to complete crime and cover up fraud, waste and abuse, it’s a sure sign that things are backward. Media silence only makes it worse.
Witness the case of Dr. Bharani Padmanabhan (“Dr. Bharani”).
Dr. Bharani was a Staff Neurologist at the Cambridge Health Alliance (“CHA”) from July 2007 to November 2010.
Without any hint of embellishment, Dr. Bharani’s humanitarianism with regard to his patients and with risk to his own self-interest, exposed patient neglect and Medicare fraud within the hospital in which he worked.
Dr. Bharani is one (1) of less than fifty (50) Neurologists in the world with 2 fellowships and a PhD in Multiple Sclerosis (“MS”). His patients will tell you that his credentials, ability, integrity and character are impeccable.
Dr. Bharani single-handedly cared for 750 MS patients who are extremely pleased with his care. Despite all of what Dr. Bharani has continued to endure, he still maintains a case load of 50 patients and sees them for free because, he said, “they are my responsibility.” MS patients cannot afford to pay him out of pocket. Dr. Bharani’s medical posture is clear: “Poor patients are welcome.”
On November 11, 2010, at approximately 3:30 pm, Dr. Bharani was paid a surprise visit by the Chief Administrative Officer, the Neurology Division Chief and a hospital Security Guard and escorted out of the hospital. This surprise visit only allowed Dr. Bharani to take with him a reflex hammer that his father gave him when he was 17.
Dr. Bharani was fired and paraded through the hospital by the Chief Administrative Officer and one Security Guard, for everyone to witness firsthand what happens when you make professionally conscientious and reasonable attempts to correctly administer proper patient care using the scientific tools available.
Dr. Bharani’s only guilt is that he takes his Hippocratic Oath, “first do no harm,” seriously.
Dr. Bharani repeatedly proved reports were issued by the Radiology Department without the MRI scans being actually seen by the radiologist, which is insurance fraud. The approximate cost per MRI is $2,000 for the scan and reading.
Dr. Bharani’s immediate supervisor, was pushed into relinquishing the post of Division Chief, thus leaving Dr. Bharani exposed to a retaliatory termination for his insistence that patient care was more important than quick money. It was his Division Chief who declared in 2008 that Dr. Bharani’s evidence was a “smoking gun” and corroborated that the MRI-s were not being read properly.
Dr. Bharani was tried within the hospital system in front of a Fair Hearing Panel. In February 2011 the Panel ruled there was no credible evidence to terminate him.
Cambridge Hospital’s Board of Trustees disregarded the ruling by their own Panel and refused to reinstate Dr. Bharani. Instead, Cambridge Hospital fabricated a fake termination letter in 2011 to create the fiction that the Fair Hearing never even occurred.
Cambridge Hospital then reported to the Federal Government and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine (“Board”) that Dr. Bharani had, in 2011, “Voluntarily Resigned in Order to Avoid an Investigation,” which Dr. Bharani claims was a “conscious, malicious and deliberate lie.” Accordingly, this false claim had several purposes: (1) used to conceal the Fair Hearing Panel’s exoneration of Dr. Bharani , (2) was a smear tactic to further damage Dr, Bharani’s reputation and (3) pervert the course of justice, just to name a few.
On January 27, 2013, Dr. Bharani spent approximately 4 hours with FBI Special Agent Keith Nelson at the Boston FBI in their Center Plaza office seeking their help. Despite their sworn oath to defeat public corruption and investigate Medicare fraud as a “top priority” and their acronym motto of “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity,” senior FBI officials remain silent.
The irony and hypocrisy of the Boston and Washington’s FBI silence is best revealed by FBI Director James Comey’s “60 Minute” interview on October 13, 2014, in which he said, “I believe people should be suspicious of government power, I am.” He also said, that all Americans should be “deeply skeptical of government power” and “you can’t trust people in power.” When 60 Minutes asked what Comey would do to guarantee the civil liberties to the American people Comey said, “The promise I’ve tried to honor my entire career, that the rule of law…will be at the heart of what the FBI does.” Dr. Bharani should be the beneficiary of Comey’s promise – silence is not the answer.
In March 2013, Dr. Bharani reported public corruption involving MassHealth to former Attorney General Martha Coakley and asked her to investigate, pursuant to the Healthcare Whistleblower Act MGL Ch149, Section 187. Coakley did not respond.
On January 27, 2015, Dr. Bharani requested that newly elected Attorney General Maura Healey reconsider Ms. Coakley’s refusal to enforce the law and other serious matters.
A most unusual part of this story: Following several requests to Attorney General Maura Healey, on March 6, 2015, the Attorney General filed a “Motion to Dismiss” Dr. Bharani’s complaint in Norfolk Superior Court, under the false premise that Board staff are absolutely immune even when they have violated the Constitution and the laws.
That the chief law enforcement agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can abuse power given to them by the taxpayers shows disrespect for the laws they are required to enforce.
Being unable to dispute Dr. Bharani’s claims, the Board’s tactic on behalf of Cambridge Hospital was to retaliate against him by blocking Dr. Bharani from earning a living.
Dr. Bharani is in his fourth year of unnecessary and unwarranted litigation – a tremendous waste of public resources. He has not been able to earn a living because of the open docket by the Board of Registration in Medicine. He is unemployed and broke. However he still maintains a case load of 50 patients and sees them for free because they are his responsibility. MS patients cannot afford to pay him out of pocket. Dr. Bharani’s position is clear: “Poor patients are welcome.”
According to Board history, almost no case goes on for 4 years, especially when the Board knows it is blocking a person from earning a living.
The Board could not find anyone substantial who could be an expert witness against Dr. Bharani. However they did manage to find an alleged “expert,” from another hospital. This alleged “expert” has no fellowship in MS, no PhD in MS, and only a fraction of knowledge and experience compared to that of Dr. Bharani, yet he has been advanced by the Government as an “expert” to testify against Dr. Bharani. This “expert” follows approximately 15 MS patients.
Despite the claim of being an “expert,” his sworn testimony against Dr. Bharani was peppered with “I don’t know” and “I’m not sure.” The most staggering moment in this “expert’s” testimony occurred when he was asked to point to the Board’s exhibit of a sagittal MR image to show where the “corpus callosum” was located in the brain, a basic piece of knowledge when reading MRI scans. When pinned down, this “expert’s” final answer concerning if the “corpus callosum” was in the image was, “I think so.” The sworn testimony from this “expert” tells a remarkable story, which is, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he lied about lying. (NOTE: If an expert on elephants is shown a picture of an elephant and swears, under oath, that he/she “thinks” it’s an elephant, would any of that expert’s testimony be deemed credible?)
The “expert’s” sworn testimony on the witness stand demonstrated that he is not basically qualified to be an MS “expert” against Dr. Bharani for numerous reasons, as contained in the sworn transcripts.
In cross-examination, the “expert’s” equivocation was contradicted when Dr. Bharani (a highly credentialed expert) testified that the “corpus callosum” did not even appear in the Board’s exhibit.
The Board’s “expert” repeatedly proved by his own sworn testimony that he was not basically qualified to be an MS “expert” against Dr. Bharani.
Thus, if you or a member of your family, had symptoms of MS, whom would you trust for your medical care, Dr. Bharani or the Board’s “expert?”
Any reasonable person would conclude that an improper diagnosis by this alleged “expert” means withholding and/or preventing proper medical treatment for the worst reason: He just doesn’t know.
For decades we have listened to FBI and DOJ pronouncements such as, “If you see something, say something,” “no one is above the law,” “equal justice under the law”, all Americans are entitled to “due process” and the all elusive “rule of law” claim, which oftentimes is manipulated by administrative and legal jujitsu.
As importantly, numerous court dicta regarding the “Doctrine of Clean Hands” and “fraud on the court” have been issued. Many courts of law have declared that no one should be rewarded for felony perjury, felony conduct (Medicare fraud), deceptive practices, “theft of honest government services” and other violations of law.
Unfortunately, what most Americans don’t know is that the rights we have are not always the rights we get, as witnessed in Dr. Bharani’s case.
Contextually, Dr. Bharani is a most valuable and rare asset to the medical community and has much to contribute to the world in a speciality (MS) that is so necessary and much needed in medicine.
As for “fair and balanced” reporting, there is always a beginning, a middle, an end and two sides to every story. However, when the Board has used false and fabricated documents, an anonymous “Greeley Report” paid for by Cambridge Hospital and offered an alleged “expert” who is not basically qualified and is relying on the Administrative Magistrate to look the other way, the numerous violations are plain to see. The adverse inference concerning the Board’s silence regarding the refusal to reveal the fabricated Greeley Report’s “ghost” author’s identity is damning. Dr. Bharani can only wait and see if the Administrative Magistrate has “seen and heard” enough.” As Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter said, “A timid judge, like a biased judge, is intrinsically a lawless judge.”
It should be noted that the Medicare fraud reported by Dr. Bharani has not been denied. As federal court Judge Mark L Wolf declared in another trial, “Anyone that denies a material fact has committed perjury.”
Silence and/or turning a blind eye to a collection of actions and pleadings designed to encourage and continue public corruption and Medicare fraud is destructive to us all. Filing fraudulent documents and pleadings in an attempt to distort the law, deceive the court and effect a frame up to destroy an innocent person has nothing to do with law and order in America.
America talks the best justice system in the world. The reality is much different.
About the author. Douglas K. Kinan is a freelance journalist, a Regular Army, Viet Nam Era veteran, a former Department of Defense EEO Specialist and Black Employment Program Manager, former Human Resources Director, a retired sworn and commissioned officer of the Massachusetts Trial Court, a public service Community Advocate and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Boston State Hospital project representing the six areas of impact, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain and Roslindale, Massachusetts He is at email@example.com