Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Corruption

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 28, 2019


Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is a corrupt organization.

There’s no other way to put it.

Medicare fraud was perpetrated by physicians… not just once, nor in one area.

Then, an incompetent RN killed a patient.

And the entire organization – from the top down – deliberately covered up the event, and lied about how the patient died.

Following a patient death and other frauds which were covered up by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the once-respected, formerly venerable organization is now on the ropes.

Then, they fired an ethnic minority surgeon whose opinions they didn’t like.

The next part of their history will likely include a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuit.

Now, the VUMC is hurting for Nurses. Seriously hurting.

In one day, recently, at least 12 RNs left just one unit.

That single action alone jeopardizes Patient Safety at the hospital.

But who could blame the Nurses? Who would want to work in such a miserable, fraud-ridden environment?

Consequently, VUMC Human Resources is using unprecedented methods to attract new Nurses.

But the thing is, they don’t treat their people well, much less their patients, so why would anyone want to work there… or be a patient there?

Would you want to go to a hospital that had a shortage of Nurses?

Who hired that Nurse?

In November 2018, it was discovered that an incompetent and inexperienced Registered Nurse who was placed in a supervisory position as Charge Nurse in a Neurological ICU, killed a patient because, 1.) She did NOT know her medications – a mistake that NO Nurse should have ever made – and; 2.) Made other sloppy, careless, reckless, even deliberate errors.

Because of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s ongoing frauds and coverups, they very nearly lost the ability to be paid for caring for Medicare and Medicaid patients, which accounts for well over 33% of their total income.

As described by one seasoned and experienced Professional RN, she was a “young RN desperate to be a charge nurse well before her experience supports it. Blindly ambitious, ignored wisdom of her peers, extremely arrogant. Didn’t know her meds.”

The person(s) who put her in that role was equally culpable for everything that occurred – patient death, etc. – because they also showed poor judgment.

Then, the Attending Physician lied about how the patient died.

Next, the organization failed to report the matter – considered a “sentinel” event by The Joint Commission, a non-profit healthcare accrediting organization – to the State of Tennessee.

Then, they failed to report the same to the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).

And suffice it to say, they certainly didn’t report the death to The Joint Commission.

A Sentinel Event is defined by The Joint Commission as one in which a patient a patient dies, or is seriously injured, physically or mentally, as a result of actions NOT related to their illness. In essence, it is a matter of Patient Safety.

When CMS discovered their numerous lies surrounding the event, they acted immediately to revoke VUMC’s authorization to receive payments from the public treasury, which would have meant a loss of revenue to VUMC of at least, and well over 33%. However, VUMC barely escaped such a coup de grâce by the skin of their teeth.

Is there a doctor in the house?

Shortly before that, in 2013 Vanderbilt University Medical Center was named in a Federal whistle-blower lawsuit for Medicare fraud which was filed by physician anesthesiologists who based their claims upon direct observations and accused the hospital of deceptive and false billing dating back to the 1990’s. One of the plaintiff physicians who had been appointed to VUMC’s Compensation Committee learned about their deception that way. Another whistle-blower physician learned about the deception after being called to an operating room and found an unsupervised Student Nurse Anesthetist treating a sedated patient having brain surgery.

In that series of events, several Anesthesiologist Physicians filed a Federal lawsuit on a qui tam basis, meaning that they were “whistleblowers” who, by their actions to report wrongdoing, would have received a reward, or type of “finder’s fee,” a percentage based upon the amount of any financial penalty assessed upon the organization.

Vanderbilt settled the case for $6.5 million without going to trial, and without admitting guilt in July 2017.

Naturally, their internal spin machine was at work to make it all look like everything was peaches and cream, when it was scum, instead.

Paging Dr. Gu

In 2018, Vanderbilt University Medical Center fired Dr. Eugene Gu, MD, a Surgical Resident, and graduate of Duke University Medical School, after he posted a picture of himself kneeling in a VUMC hallway with an upraised fist, in solidarity with NFL football players who also “took a knee” to protest violence against racial minorities by police. Before that, he had filed, and won, a Federal Free Speech lawsuit against POTUS Donald Trump after Trump blocked him on Twitter.

The Duke Chronicle, an independent, student-run newspaper of the Duke University community where Dr. Gu graduated Medical School, published an article dated January 9, 2018 headlined “Vanderbilt puts Duke Med alum on leave after complaint about kneeling to protest white supremacy” in which they wrote in part that “The now-Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) resident was placed on paid administrative leave for nearly two weeks on Nov. 9. He says it might have to do with a patient’s mother complaining that he took a knee on Twitter to protest white supremacy.”

Dr. Gu said that a patient had complained about his September 24, 2017 Tweet which read “I’m an Asian-American doctor and today I #TakeTheKnee to fight white supremacy.” pic.twitter.com/69QLjrTShY

In response, VUMC issued a press release which in part stated that “Any actions relating to Dr. Gu’s progress as a surgery resident have been and will continue to be based on his performance and adherence to VUMC’s policies. He has never been told that he must change his political views or the substantive content related to his personal participation on social media platforms. He has been advised of the need to adhere to VUMC’s social media policy, which requires that persons who are identified as representatives of VUMC clearly state that their views are their own.”

VUMC officials claimed they were responding to articles published in The Chronicle, Duke University’s independent student-run newspaper, “to address inaccuracies circulating on social media.”

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has removed their original press release post, but this archived copy is available on the Way Back Machine Internet Archive.

The hospital’s actions backfired, and they tried to smooth over the furor they raised with little success. Instead, they attacked Dr. Gu who had Tweeted that VUMC’s statements had caused “grave safety concerns.”

When interviewed, the then-32-year-old Dr. Gu said VUMC’s actions placed him at risk of public bullying and harassment, and said their actions would have “a very chilling effect” on anyone else who would decide to speak out about politics or institutional concerns.

Dr. Gu added that, “The take-home message here is that there is an unwritten rule for surgical residents and that is rule is, always make your program look good and always make your hospital look good, and often that means stay silent. But as an Asian-American physician, unlike a white doctor, I don’t always have the same luxury to stay silent. Vanderbilt can respond to whichever criticism they want, but why would they put someone’s specific name out there? They want to make an example so that anybody who dares to speak out against the institution about an injustice would be destroyed.”

Later, VUMC fired Dr. Gu, who was in his third year of a five-year surgery residency, though they claimed they were “not renewing his contract.”

John Howser, a VUMC spokesperson wrote that, “Regarding other allegations that Dr. Gu is making about the Medical Center, I would ask that you please consider these as allegations and nothing more. To date, we have not engaged in a point by point rebuttal of Dr. Gu’s many claims over the past two-plus years. At this time we will continue to maintain this stance.”

VUMC claimed their actions had nothing to do with Dr. Gu’s opinions.

VUMC’s claims are about as believable as someone saying that they put on sunscreen to protect their skin… even though they were going to be indoors all day during the summer. Because, you know… somewhere, the sun is shining.

Yet none of that is surprising, however, especially given Vanderbilt’s deeply entrenched racist history.

What other word would one use to describe an organization in which incompetency resulted in a patient’s death, which members also failed to follow the law by reporting the death, and then lie about it?

What about if they engaged in false and purposely deceptive billing practices?

There’s only ONE WORD to describe such egregious behavior: CORRUPT.

Simply put, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a corrupt organization.

Vanderbilt was once respected.


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