Should the California Medical Board make a public case for more money? Yes, William Heisel says, noting that it costs doctors more to protect the few bad doctors in their midst from punishment than it does to help maintain the state’s system of medical rules and guidelines.
The new filing by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency against Dr. Scott Bickman for his role in a California painkiller mill reveals a very sad truth. Maria Garcia’s death could almost certainly have been avoided.
Prior to 2007, a clinic like Anaheim Hills Surgery Center could have been penalized or even shut down by the state of California. One court ruling changed that, allowing shady clinics to operate without the scrutiny given hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.
The surgeons at Anaheim Hills Surgery Center had to be sweating.
The Joint Commission, one of the most powerful arbiters of whether a health center is deemed worthy of federal funding, showed up at the surgery center’s doorstep in April 2008 to review its records, its practices and its staffing.
The timing was terrible.
Just one month earlier, the center had added a brand new skeleton to its bulging closet.
That was her one big vice, according to her brother and her estranged husband.
This otherwise healthy 39-year-old visited the doctors at Hills Surgical Center in Anaheim because she didn’t like the way she looked. To remedy that, the surgeons scheduled a series of procedures, all to happen in one day.
On March 13, 2008, Garcia died on the operating room table after a vaginal rejuvenation surgery and liposuction, another victim of the bad decisions made by the doctors at 145 S. Chaparral Court.