A former high ranking employee of IU Health has come forward and filed a lawsuit alleging that the largest healthcare provider in Indiana has put profits over the care provided to low income patients. Dr. Judith Robinson was fired from her position as medical director of OB/GYN services at HealthNet and IU Health Methodist Hospital. She alleges that these medical facilities have been pocketing tens of millions of extra dollars from the government while causing permanent harm to pregnant women and their children.
HealthNet, an IU Health affiliate, is comprised of eight medical facilities that provide services for low-income patients. Dr. Robinson claims that HealthNet intentionally cut back on the number of OB/GYNs seeing patients. Instead, most patients seen throughout their pregnancy by unsupervised midwives. She claims this was the case even with high risk pregnancies.
Most patients had Medicaid as health insurance coverage, which aids low-income families. Medicaid standards require any high risk pregnancy be overseen by a physician. Reports indicate that 70 to 90 percent of women treating at HealthNet were considered high risk pregnancies. Dr. Robinson alleges that these high risk patients were being cared for by midwives without a physician’s consult, and then their medical care was billed to Medicaid as if a physician had seen the patient.
If true, IU Health’s conduct not only unlawfully took millions of dollars from the government, but also harmed the welfare of the women and children. In an interview, Dr. Robinson named several high risk pregnancy cases where women and children were injured because there was no supervising physician. A midwife is trained to deliver a baby during a normal pregnancy, but they are not medical doctors and do not have specialized training to handle high risk situations. Dr. Robinson mentioned cases where mothers died during caesarean sections. She also alleges several babies were born with permanent brain injuries due to a lack of proper care and supervision during the baby’s delivery.
Even otherwise “normal” pregnancies can develop into difficult and dangerous deliveries. Any physician will tell you that, even in ideal settings, the birth of a child involves many potential complications. The physician has two patients experiencing great stress during delivery, the mother and the baby. It is absolutely critical that all of the best resources be available for both the mother and the baby, especially in high risk situations.
Our office handles serious birth injury cases. Please contact us if you or a family member has suffered serious injuries due to medical errors.
Rudavsky, Shari. “Whistleblower Says IU Health and HealthNet Bilked Government, Put Pregnant Women at Risk.” Whistleblower Says IU Health and HealthNet Bilked Government, Put Pregnant Women at Risk. Fox 59, 17 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 July 2015. <http://fox59.com/2015/04/17/whistleblower-says-iu-health-and-healthnet-bilked-government-put-pregnant-women-at-risk/>.