From Publishers Weekly
Father John Corapi, a former accountant, was urged in 2002 to have immediate triple bypass surgery at Redding Medical Center. In fact, his coronary arteries were normal, and he and a former colleague persuaded the FBI to launch a criminal fraud investigation against the for-profit hospital, a renowned Northern California medical institution, and its two rainmakers, cardiologist Chae Hyun Moon and chief of cardiac surgery Fidel Realyvasquez. It soon became clear that the egotistical, abrasive, chain-smoking Moon and the highly ambitious, self-promoting Realyvasquez were performing numerous unnecessary procedures on gullible patients, with devastating consequences. Among the egregious examples of medical misconduct were unnecessary bypasses performed on Paul Alexandre, who became an invalid at age 36 after his sternum was permanently damaged during surgery, and on Shirley Wooten, a lively golden-ager whose surgery led to a fall that caused a fatal cerebral hemorrhage. Although it suffers from veteran newsman Klaidman's (Saving the Heart
) lack of access to Moon and Realyvasquez, this well-researched and ably written account offers solid proof that American medicine is indeed "a mess." Readers may think the same about the legal system after learning that Alexandre and Wooten received only six-figure settlements while the Corapi walked away with millions, and neither doctor was prosecuted for a crime. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
If veteran journalist Klaidman wanted to show how to corrupt an already faulty medical system, he couldn't have chosen a better subject than the Redding (California) Medical Center scandal. All it took was a hospital owned by a multibillion-dollar corporation, Tenet Healthcare; two overly ambitious physicians; and thousands of people, including private insurers and Medicare personnel, willing to overlook questionable diagnoses. Millions were paid out for thousands of unnecessary bypass surgeries and other equally unjustifiable procedures. The compensation of cardiologist Chae Hyun Moon and cardiac surgeon Fidel Realyvasquez were directly tied to the profits of the hospital's heart program. And dozens of misdiagnosed patients suffered irreparable damage to their health, including death. Klaidman shows, too, a judicial system that allowed the physicians to walk away--no criminal charges were filed--and awarded cash settlements to victims and their families that, in the end, amounted to little more for the corporation than the cost of doing business. A story that grabs like fiction but frightens like fact. Donna ChavezCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved