Killing the Goose That Laid The Golden Egg (The $55,001 Man, Part II)
I really should come by here more often…..
Last year, I wrote about someone I christened “The $55,001 Man”. You can read the full story here, but the “Readers’ Digest” version is that a surgeon invoiced a health insurer for that amount having carried out a routine gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) and repairing a small hernia in the same area at the same time. The health insurer responded by referring him to the answer given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.
The surgeon was Patrick J. Reiten M.D – at this time, I add the disclaimer that the aforementioned link leads to a third party website and as such, the information contained therein may not be entirely accurate, although I understand the address and phone number to be current at the time of writing. I would also, in the interests of clarity, add that to the best of my knowledge, Dr. Reiten is not related to this fellow, although there are obvious similarities in respect of the amount of money they’re both apparently raking in, or at least attempting to. Additionally, it is a matter of public record that for various reasons, Dr. Reiten, at least in this millennium, has been no stranger to the Superior Court of the State of California in Ventura County.
Put his name into this link if you’d like to read more.
The reason I revisit this is that it recently came to my attention that the hospital where Dr. Reiten carried out the $55,001 surgery has recently hired an on-staff “general surgeon”: Ali Cheaito MD, FACS. You can find out more about Dr. Cheaito at his official Adventist Health webpage here. He seems to be eminently qualified for the position.
Now, I may be completely “off-base” on this, but it strikes me that if someone was paying, say, $55,001 for what was essentially a day’s work from an “independent contractor” but could hire someone full-time to do the same stuff, it makes considerably more economic sense to do the latter. Let’s say that someone were to do 200 days’ work a year: at $55,001 per day, that’s…..$11,000,200 per year. I repeat: $11,000,200 per year. Now, I have no idea what sort of annual compensation Dr. Cheaito is receiving: that is, of course, a matter between, him, Adventist Health, his accountant and the IRS. It would, however, be a reasonable supposition that it’s somewhat less than $11,000,200…..