Wednesday, August 14, 2013

At Last!

     At last!  
     The government has filed its Complaint against me.
     One month ago the government was forced by a new judge to unseal the case and back it, or fold its cards.  Judge Mickel had retired, and the new judge probably stared at her inheritance, a docket full of aging cases like mine, and said:  let's clean house.  She ordered the government to make a move.  She was granting no more every-90-day extensions.
     So, case was unsealed about a month ago.  As I had expected, it was a whistleblower lawsuit filed more than three years ago by Pat McCullough, the woman who bought my Hawthorne Medical Center on March 12, 2009.   As I explained in earlier posts, this woman, an RN who hadn't practiced her nursing trade in many years, had no intention of running a medical clinic in rural Florida.  She hailed from Kentucky, raised race-horses, had no family ties or other connections to Florida, and may have intended to make a quick buck and beat it back to her ranch near Lexington, KY.  She never relocated to Hawthorne, and made only superficial moves to direct the clinic to continue serving patients in the respectable manner it had been doing for ten years.
     Instead, McCullough's motive was likely a purely self-serving one:  she wanted the assets of the clinic, and she planned to use the clinic's good name and sterling credit to cash in at whatever banks had loan officers she could trick into buying her hard-luck story ("I only want to help these poor, rural folks who need a clinic, but Dr. Colasante left me with a mess...").  It worked!  She obtained loans she would never repay
.    She certainly didn't pay me for the clinic purchase.  But her plan to destroy me went far beyond not paying, and was more clever than boring foreclosure.  I just wanted to assume ownership of the flagging clinic, when I saw it being destroyed, step by calculated step, a few months after her takeover. 
     Pat hired new billing people (including a woman who shortly afterward was arrested for embezzling funds from the Cardiology department at Marion Hospital) and sequestered them away in a storage shed --now outfitted with air conditioning and a lock on the door.  She must have given them instructions to collect as much of the accounts receivable (money still owed by patients and insurance companies to the clinic) as possible, and identify (or falsify?) documentation or coding infractions she could report to the federal government in a whistleblower claim designed to bamboozle its agents into thinking a) she was heroic--saving America's tax dollars!--and b) I was a criminal, perpetrating fraud against Medicare at every turn.
     Pat McCullough's claim was filed.  I will copy and paste it for your perusal in my next blog post.
     The government was given 20 days to decide whether to back that lawsuit, alter it in accordance with its agents suspicions, or jump ship. 
     The government's prosecutor, perhaps a determined and ambitious man, decided to back the case and file it, but he altered the allegations.
     The case against me is 28 pages long, and contains 110 complaints.
     I have been instructed by my lawyers to formulate responses to these complaints.
     The complaints are absurd, outrageous, and false. 
     How do you respond when someone lies about you?  And what if that person fabricates evidence to substantiate the lies?  I don't know if this is what she did, but it seems logical. 
     I'd like to think I could depend on intelligent investigators (the friendly men-in-blue policemen of my childhood, the ones who rescue kittens from trees) to ferret out truth from fiction.  But I don't know. 
     The news these days is full of stories about civil forfeitures:  millions of people, over the past decade, getting stopped and frisked on the streets of New York City, and their belongings taken into custody and never returned;  drivers on certain highways being stopped, because they fit a certain "profile," and having their cars searched and ransacked and their belongings confiscated by the police, never to be returned (in cases titled "State of Texas v. $6,037" or "United States v. One Pearl Necklace," or "United States v. Adams' Residence.")
     The government's case against me is both criminal and civil:  an odd conglomeration of vague charges that seem insupportable from my perspective--and shouldn't I know?
     These days I'm spending my time, therefore, writing answers to the complaints, one by one, all 115 of them.  It's boring work, and I'd rather be seeing patients, but this is what I got dished out, for now.
     I remind myself that I am a free person.  Every day I wake up and the sun is shining, the chickens seem happy to see me, the fig trees are loaded with purple figs bursting at the seams, and a family of armadillos has been poking holes in my back yard.  That's all beautiful, right?  (Don't hate armadillos!  They eat cockroaches, and they're the only known predator of fire ants!)
     One of my dear friends has been repeating the same thing to me, a line by Socrates.
     It's better to be the victim of an injustice than to commit one.
     Alas, I am on the better side of justice.  I know that.


  1. I can only tell you what I did when someone lied about me. Since I was the only person besides my accuser who knew what the truth was, I exposed the liar. I knew much more about the accuser than the prosecutor did. My accuser was not going to say to the prosecutor, "Just so you know, I'm crazy as hell. I am certified paranoid and harbor many strange thoughts, I frequently lose touch with reality, I've caused a lot of problems for all sorts of folks, it is public record that I've stalked people, my mental illness affects my employment and ruined my marriage, I've hurt many people, not one family member believes my complaint against the accused is true, my church has a restraining order against me, and I refuse to take my prescribed anti-psychotic medications." That information had to come from me. My attorney painted a different picture of the accuser for the prosecutor. This tactic works best before a charge is filed but can be effective right up to jury selection.

    In a criminal trial the burden of proof belongs with the prosecutor; not the accused. You said it correctly,'anyone can say anything about anybody'. That does not make it so.

    Because you know the reality, you know how to gather all the information needed to shed light upon the facts. Through the discovery process you will be able to follow the money trail of all her holdings prior to and up to current. I'm confident her financial dealings will reveal her motivation to a jury. The truth will set you free.

  2. I hope the government wins. You are not as innocent as you pretend to be.

  3. Since the Hawthorne clinic started making headlines in 2009, many of us in Hawthorne have been trying to sort out truth from fiction. Most of us feel that we received good care, but many feel like you were gaming the system, pushing the limits. As the case unfolds, it will be interesting to see if you are as innocent as you claim and the new owner is as guilty as you claim.

    You claim that the new owner was a scam artist, benefiting from his purchase of the clinic. However, you or anybody else, including her dozens of creditors, haven't produced one shred of evidence to back your claims.

    Also, did the government seize the records of your Hawthorne patients? I could be wrong, but I don't think they did. I think my record is still in storage. So, if they didn't seize Hawthorne records and they seized your Gainesville records, wouldn't this suggest that the government's decision to go forward with this case is based wholely, or in part, on your activities at your Gainesville clinic?

    I don't think it's fair how long the government has drawn out this case, but they seem to have enough evidence to proceed. From what I know, compared to non-federal prosecutors, federal prosecutors almost never lose.

    I'm looking forward to reading the case, I hope you post it soon. It will answer many questions.

    1. So, is it all the good people of Hawthorne who are gossiping about Dr. Colasante or is it the other people?

      You can tell me! I can be objective...I've never met Anonymous you and I've never met Dr. Colasante. What evidence have you that supports what most of the people in Hawthorne are feeling about Dr. Colasante 'gaming the system, pushing the limits' as you stated? Or is there only a 'feeling' amongst the many of Hawthorne that Dr. Colasante is a crook.

      The many people of Hawthorne who are gossiping about Dr. Colasante should be cautious about what they are feeling about other people. Envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, which are the sins from which all other sins originate. Envy is called mortal sin due to its grievous nature, and deadly because it is thought that when a person engages in envious behavior they lose the opportunity for redemption because God's spirit abandons their soul. Gossiping is a sin...check yourself.

      There is a German word, Schadenfreude, which is derived from the word schaden meaning damage/harm and freude meaning joy, therefore;‘a person motivated by a feeling of joy when they see another person fail’. Feels like this was your motivation behind this post. Schadenfrohs delighting in others' misfortune is in direct opposition to Jesus' teaching. People who do this are at their core unethical. Is your eye evil because Dr. Colasante is good?

      It is important for you to know that defendants are not convicted by others' feelings, suspicions, or even by accusation, but by proven facts. It is the prosecutor's burden to prove guilt and, thereby, an assumption of innocence is bestowed upon the accused.

    2. What is interesting is what Dr. Colasante did before she opened the Hawthorne Clinic. Shands at UF is the question which is the thought as to who is behind this crap. Though I may be wrong, as in speculation is not always the reality. Perception is not always the reality either...

    3. I am thanking God that finally you may have some resolution and can get on with your life! Nobody deserves what has been happening to you!

      I was a patient at the Hawthorne office and at the Gainesville office and NEVER EVER saw any impropriety. Dr. Colasante truly cares about her patients and it is a great loss to our community that she closed her practice.


  4. I love your soup recipes. Miso horny.

    Your secret admirer.

  5. Joy in other's misfortune? No, a number of us shared our experiences with each other and some of us concluded that it wasn't surprising that Dr. Colasante is in trouble for some of her insurance billing practices. That's not gossip, schadenfreude, or envy.

    The government says that Dr. Colasante engaged in illegal billing practices and some of her former patients say that is not inconsistent with their experiences. Pretty simple.

    1. Webster's definition of gossip:

      1.  casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.  used in a sentence "She became the subject of much local gossip".

      Or according to this old adage:  'IF YOU AREN'T PART OF THE PROBLEM OR THE SOLUTION, IT'S GOSSIP'

      Here's what God says about gossip:

      You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD.  Leviticus 19:16

  6. Hey you stupid fuck, people sharing their own first-hand experiences isn't gossip.

  7. I worked for both Dr. C. and the new owner. Dr. C. built the shed she mentioned and installed the AC unit in the shed. Dr. C. used the shed for records storage. The new owner tuned the break room and kitchen into a billing office and turned the shed into a break room. Dr. C., did you forget about the shed you built?

  8. What about publishing the lawsuit papers? That would help us back Dr. Ona even more.

  9. As as former patient I can recall she was a concerned doctor, but not a great administrator. There were some questionable billing when I was given comprehensive yearly physicals such as nail clipping.
    Also my my wife would not return after a very high first time charge despite good insurance coverage. The new owner's services were so woeful I left the practice. All in all, I would like to root for the doc and hope her statements hold up and she is exonerated.

  10. Doctor, Doctor, Doctor "With the saints"...I sincerely hope that one day, sooner than later, you get fed up of trying to heal the hopeless out in that Pariah pit before you get much sicker yourself of that stubborn nut case of yours! ;)


  11. What happened to the court docs that you were going to publish like the 47 pages and 110 complaints that you have been charged with? My guess is that you came to your senses and stopped publishing anything regarding your existing case so you wouldn't incriminate yourself anymore prior to the trial because this is public record it could be used against you........

  12. Friend of mine that works at the Gainesville Sun thinks she is going to win a Pulitzer Prize for her series on Medicare fraud that will focus on this case.

  13. My friend the writer says government is going after $10 million and might throw her in jail as she is a flight risk with international connections.

  14. Well at least hopefully she will be able to make some friends before she is sentenced. I thought also that the court system already took away her passport but it was given back by her attorney at the time or she wouldn't have been allowed to go to Sweden or somewhere like that for a mini vacation. Incidentally, Federal Medicare Law requires the physician to be in the same building in order to bill as the provider of services when the services were actually rendered by a PA or a LPNP (Licensed Practical Nurse Practioner. If the government alone is going to seek $10 million dollars, then a lot of audits will be followed up by the Insurance Companies that she was participating with and I promise you Medicare B alone will exceed that amount. If she was wise she better seek an excellent Healthcare attorney that specializes in fraudulent billing and their hourly fee will run between $450.00 to $650.00 an hour. Incidentally there are no statute of limitations on how far back any insurace company can perform a post payment audit and rumor has it that she just gave the patient's their charts (which would only include after the seizure and raid by the FBI). Her best thing to do at this point is to either get a fake ID and passport or hopefully the attorney that originally was holding it for her still has it and will release it again. He'd be a fool to do that though again because then he'll be charged as an accessory. In my opinion, she'd be better off to just get a fake ID and passport. She'll never ever win this case if they proceed in court and even though obtaining the fake ID and passport, she'll have no guilt about it considering she still considers that she has broken any laws and is innocent. Has anyone noticed that she hasn't posted anything on her blog since this last article? Things that make you say hmmmmm.

  15. Okay, let me get this straight. A Kentucky businesswoman buys your Hawthorne clinic that subsequently fails. Then, several years later the federal government raids your Gainesville, seizes patient records, and seizes money in your bank account.

    Posting the court documents would answer many questions, but my primary question is whether the government's case against you is based on activity at the Hawthorne clinic, the Gainesville clinic, or both.

  16. My son was a patient at Dr. C's Hawthorne clinic. I changed doctors after his well-baby visit cost $450.00. Dr. C only talked to him briefly after an hour wait. The nurse did not even get his temperature because he was scared. The well baby visits had always been high (125 to 250) but never this high. I came into the office to ask if there was a mistake and was told that he had bloodwork and a hearing test done???? I explained that he was only talked to by Dr. C and no needle ever came near him. After that I was just ignored in the hallway.
    I called the VA to report the fraud and was told that they would not pursue it but that I could write up a complaint if I wanted to. I fully admit I did not talk to Dr. C directly or try to make an appointment with her or her accountants. I should have done that first.
    However, I have spoke with many of her former patients in Hawthorne and they reported things like Smoking Cessation charges for patients who don't smoke. I do think Dr. C's office was engaging in massive insurance fraud and I don't know how this could have happened without her knowing.
    Why she would do this when she seems to be a competent, caring, and community minded doctor who would have been successful without it, I don't know. It makes me sad. Her senior patients adored her.

  17. I have previously responded to comments like this, but it bears repeating, because this is not the only patient my medical colleagues and I hear about "how much the doctor charged!"

    Let me begin by saying that at my last colonoscopy--a screening test that took exactly 18 minutes--the gastroenterology group "charged me" $3,641.

    A "charge" by the doctor's office is an artificial construct, and in general has no real connection to the "real cost" of a visit or test. Charges must be registered in the computer billing system for the system to work.

    My insurance company paid fully for the colonoscopy: $762. The doctor's office "charged" five and a half times what the insurance company paid. This is not evidence of wrongdoing, overcharging, fraud, misconduct, greed, or a breach of ethics. It's simply how medical billing software systems work. If the doctor's office had "charged" $700 for the colonoscopy, the insurance company would have lowered its standard fee to $700. In order to assure standard insurance payments for any service physicians' set charges very high. Patients don't pay these charges.

    No one ever paid $450 for a preventive physical in my clinics. When uninsured patients were seen, they paid a percentage of the "charge"--often far less than an insurance company would have paid.

    Patients who used to smoke, but quit, also benefit from smoking cessation counseling: witness the large number of quitters who start smoking again. This is so much the case that Medicare has stated in its coding and billing guidelines that it will pay for (and therefore encourages) the time a physician takes to ask about smoking--even in patients who have "quit"--to ascertain the risk of falling back into the smoking habit, and to counsel patients about the damage past smoking has already done to their bodies. This is not fraud. Ask those patients you mention, the ones "who don't smoke" if they used to smoke. Look at their chest x-rays and lung spirometry readings. A good doctor asks about smoking and discusses its deleterious effects, even after patients have quit, and Medicare has endorsed this as good medical practice.