CHICAGO-A local woman who for years was looking for health care in all the wrong places turned to litigation to cure what ailed her and uncovered a massive medical fraud scheme.
Fonda Needles, fifty, didn't seem the least bit skeptical when a routine yearly physical resulted in her being diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. Even the prostate examination didn't raise an eyebrow. She furthermore thought nothing of obeying the doctor's request to ‘turn her head and cough.' Yet the biggest surprise of all was the fact that the erroneous medical mistake managed to escape the scrutiny of medical auditors. But that was just the first of a string of fraudulent findings.
Not long after her first physical fiasco, a bout of groin pain netted a doctor's opinion which noted "pronounced testicular swelling." Three prescriptions and six months later, Fonda's pain in the groin had disappeared, along with a good chunk of the contents of her pocketbook to pay for high dollar drugs.
The straw that broke the camel's back came when, following the honeymoon with her new, second, husband, she complained of sexual discomfort. It was while awaiting a penile implant that Needles began to suspect something was up.
"I've never been all that up on medical stuff," Fonda admits. "I guess I've just led a rather sheltered life. I mean, in the ‘60s I can remember getting my Corvair's radiator flushed with every oil change." Needles also had other evidence of undeniable naiveté. Found among her important documents was a certificate of majority ownership to the Brooklyn Bridge, several ‘guaranteed' diet plans, hair restorers, Psychic Friends gift cards and Monopoly ‘Get out of Jail Free' cards.
Once tipped to the suspected suspicious shenanigans, investigators discovered that Needles was not a lone victim. Mr. E. Z. Pickens submitted a physician's recommendation that he undergo a hysterectomy. Dan DeRupp narrowly escapes having his fallopian tubes tied. Probably the most tragic case involved a Mr. Frederick ‘Fuzzy' Tinker who underwent six months of radiation therapy for uterine cancer.
Health care officials have remained evasive when questioned about the exam room errors. One patient affairs executive who spoke anonymously called the goofs regrettable, but that ‘mistakes just happen sometimes.' When pressed to explain why such diagnoses could be made when it was clear they were in total opposition to the gender of the respective patients, the official simply muttered, "Well, the doctors do work long hours, the exam rooms are rather dark, and you know how illegible their handwriting can be."
Testifying before the Senate Health Care Committee, Mr. And Mrs. Woody Bight shocked legislators, relating their experience at the birth of their tenth child. At the last minute, they decided against a vasectomy for her and a cesarean section for him. Fortunately, their daughter, Mona, was born without incident. She is, nonetheless, about to be circumcised.