Practice News Roundup—Beaumont Health in rift with physician group; Pair who defrauded Medicare go to prison

Doctors talking
A large physican group is considering a breakup with a Michigan health system. (Getty/wmiami)

Largest physician group in metro Detroit may break off from Beaumont Health

Beaumont Health, the Michigan-based organization which operates eight hospitals, is on the verge of a breakup with United Physicians, the largest physician group in metro Detroit. United Physicians, which has some 2,386 physicians, is taking steps to withdraw from participation in Beaumont’s clinically integrated system, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.

Part of the dispute stems from Beaumont Health signing a narrow provider network contract with Priority Health, a Grand Rapids-based health insurer. The contract excludes hundreds of doctors, including those affiliated with United Physicians. (Crain's Detroit Business)

Father, son healthcare providers sentenced to prison

A New Jersey doctor and his chiropractor son were sentenced to prison Monday for conspiring to defraud Medicare by using unqualified people to provide physician therapy to Medicare patients, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

Robert Claude McGrath, D.O., 66, and his son Robert Christopher McGrath, 46, both of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, were sentenced to 30 and 12 months in prison respectively. They owned and operated Atlantic Spine & Joint Institute, a medical practice with offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Prosecutors said the McGraths employed unlicensed, untrained people to give physical therapy. Under Medicare rules, that therapy had to be provided by the doctor or a trained physical therapist under his supervision. They submitted bills fraudulently identifying the father as the provider of physical therapy, at times when he was not even in the office to supervise the care. (U.S. Attorney's office announcement)

No ‘magic bullet’ to prevent dementia

A series of papers published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine had discouraging news when it comes to interventions that might help prevent late-life dementia.

The research found that a variety of interventions—brain training, medication, regular exercise and over-the-counter supplements—don’t appear to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. There’s no magic bullet, wrote Eric B. Larson, M.D., of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, in an accompanying editorial. (Annals of Internal Medicine editorial