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Whistleblower tells the truth about HCA profit driven medical practices


Having been in the legal and insurance industry for 45 years now, I have reasonably good insight on what really does go on, but I can simply not help being surprised and disturbed by how far corporate America is willing to go.

Even when dealing with the health, life and death of human beings, it seems corporations and, in this case also doctors are willing to do almost anything to increase the profit line. According to the story in the Palm Beach Post we have a graphic example right here in our backyard; HCA Lawnwood allegedly performing unwarranted surgical procedures by its physicians to insert cardiac stents into patients who never needed them!

Motive? Profit driven.

Shocked? Well you shouldn’t be.

Frightened? Maybe we all should be.

Sadly, the only way we even know about these occurrences is because a Registered nurse, C.T. Tomlinson, had the courage to do the right thing and told the truth. What did he get for his courage when he told the management at HCA? You guessed it, he got his contract terminated and through HCA’s own internal documents we know that Mr. Tomlinson was retaliated against. I wish I could tell this is the only dirty little secret hidden by “the white code” in medicine. You would shudder to know how many people have died or were unnecessarily injured by bad medicine and no one was told the truth.

The medical community and insurance companies are fond of claiming that unnecessary tests and procedures are ordered because doctors fear lawsuits. The fact is they get paid for every test or procedure they order. Justifying it by claiming they are protecting themselves is simply a convenient route to the bottom line and increased profits.

Medical mistakes occurring because profit is an overriding motivation is much more common than people realize.  And realistically, the patient seldom has possession of their own medical records; so lost, misplaced and “amended” medical records also happen more than most people realize.

There is an unfortunate public mindset that medical errors happen to other people, but will never happen to us. It is when you or a loved one is harmed at the hands of bad, or profit driven medicine that it hits home.

In fact it was only 6 or 7 years ago that the Tenet Healthcare Corporation paid over $350 million for doing unnecessary heart surgeries in its Redding, California hospital.

So, we should be careful to not marginalize whistleblowers or medical practice lawyers who, at best are simply able to level the playing field by a mere fraction and then only for some victims.

As they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thank goodness for brave nurses like C.T. Tomlinson and the majority of medical providers who are honest and use their amazing talents to save lives day in and day out. There is no doubt we need more of the type courage displayed by Nurse Tomlinson who has now helped saved lives, who knows, maybe yours or mine.

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Posted By: Bud Wilder