Oncologist Charged In Six Patient Deaths
When we are sick we put our trust in doctors and physicians to take into account our ailments and to work to make us better. Whether it’s a minor cold or sinus infection or even something more detrimental such as cancer, we as patients expect a certain quality of care from these specialists. However, when this doesn’t happen and patients are neglected or treated for things they simply do not need, the ramifications can be unavoidable. This unfortunately is exactly what happened to several cancer patients in New York.
Recently, the New York state Health Department charged former president of CCS Oncology, Dr. W. Sam Yi with gross negligence and incompetence in his treatment of seven different patients, six of which died. Dr. Yi, a radiation oncologist soon faces an administrative hearing that could lead to the loss or suspension of his medical license, according to documents posted to the departments website.
CCS Oncology was once one of the areas largest private cancer practices. It’s non-oncology branch, CCS Medical shut down last April after FBI agents raided the locations in Erie and Niagara counties after the practice filed for bankruptcy protection.
The details within the Health Departments filing align along with the lawsuits filed by former patients, or their estates, of which claim that Yi and CCS Oncology provided inadequate treatment.
Yi began practicing medicine in New York in 2006 and served as president and CEO of CCS Oncology leading to a rapid expansion of the practice. However CCS struggled financially in 2016, when Independent Health had announced that it would be removing CCS Oncology from its network. Things compounded this spring however when in March the FBI raided various CCS locations, seizing financial and other information as a part of an investigation into possible Medicare fraud at the practice.
In addition to a federal investigation, in 2016 a whistleblower filed a related civil lawsuit arguing that the practices physicians and other staffers had engaged in widespread fraud and misconduct. This would include billing for more expensive procedures than were actually performed, billing for procedures that were never performed, and performing medically unnecessary procedures on patients. Yi has since denied these accusations.
The state Health Department has charged Yi administratively following its own investigation however. Yi is accused of misconduct in treating seven patients between 2009 and 2013 at various CCS locations.
In 2012, Yi was found to have provided whole-brain radiation therapy to a 43-year-old female patient for a six-week period. This was done contrary to medical indications and without taking into account prior doses of the treatment. She died on December 20, of that same year. Yi had also treated a 72-year-old male patient with prostate radiation therapy that exceeded commonly prescribed doses for his disease and without considering alternative treatments. This included potentially unnecessary radiation therapy of the jaw, which didn’t take into account previous rounds of radiation. He also died in March of 2012.
These and other very similar courses of treatment outlined in the Health Department filing led the state Board for Professional Medical Conduct to charge Yi with gross negligence, gross incompetence, negligence and incompetence on more than one occasion and failing to maintain records.
A hearing was scheduled before a committee on professional misconduct for Sept. 17 and 18 in Albany, New York. It’s not clear when or if Yi will learn whether his license is revoked or suspended, whether he will have to pay a fine or whether he will face no punishment at all.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice in Philadelphia, contact the experienced personal injury law firm of Lopez McHugh as soon as possible for a free and confidential consultation. Time limitations apply to your potential medical malpractice lawsuits, so call us today.