Apr 03,2009 00:00
Southern Oregon Health Clinic Misrepresented Experimental Treatments to Patients and Insurers
MEDFORD, Ore. -- Attorney General John Kroger today announced a settlement that shuts down a Medford health clinic that endangered Oregon women by misrepresenting a breast cancer detection procedure.
"Putting the lives of women at risk is unconscionable," said Attorney General Kroger. "Given the lethal consequences of delaying detection of such a deadly cancer, I am giving medical imposters fair notice that these types of misrepresentations will not be tolerated."
The settlement requires the owners of the Laser and Thermal Imaging Center to warn women who received thermographic imaging at the clinic to get a mammogram rather than rely on the clinic's thermography testing.
The clinic claimed that its thermography equipment could detect the presence of breast cancer 7 to 10 years before other diagnostic procedures, including mammography. In fact, medical studies have repudiated thermography as a stand-alone breast cancer detector.
All medical sources agree that mammography is the procedure to screen for breast cancer. Mammography has to be interpreted by a licensed MD with radiology training.
The operators of the clinic also engaged in fraudulent billing practices, charging patients up front for experimental procedures with the promise of reimbursement payments that insurance companies would seldom make. The clinic operators sometimes altered billing codes to obtain unwarranted reimbursement from insurers.
The settlement requires the operators to pay $20,000 to cover restitution.
The clinic also went by the names Mountain Top Medical and Therapeutic Laser Centers. It was located at 115 Stewart Ave, Suite 201, in Medford.
The owners were Mary Anne Crandall, her husband, Tom Crandall, and her brother-in-law, James Crandall. Mary Anne Crandall falsely claimed to be licensed as an RN, a chiropractor, an MD and a Naturopath.
The settlement filed in Jackson County Circuit Court requires the Crandalls to close the clinic and never provide thermography or laser services or hold themselves out as health care providers unless licensed by the state.
Consumers seeking information should contact the Attorney General's office at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at http://www.doj.state.or.us.
Sr. Assistant Attorney General Greg Smith and investigator Dale Geiger handled the case for the Oregon Department of Justice.Cooperating in the investigation were the Oregon State Board of Nursing, the Oregon Board of Medicine and the Office of Degree Authorization.