family

health

Ex-doctor whose patient killed Montgomery family in wreck sentenced to 7 years for fraud

A former doctor was recently sentenced to federal prison on fraud charges he incurred after a prescription patient of his high on medication fatally crashed into a family of four driving home from church in Conroe.

Rezik A. Saqer, 66, of Houston, was sentenced to seven years on Oct. 9 by Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas. Rosenthal ordered Saqer to pay $5 million in restitution for fraudulently billing health care programs.

In early July 2019, Saqer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Saqer, according to an Oct. 9 release from the U.S. Department of Justice, was a physician and anesthesiologist at Texas Pain Solutions and Integra Medical Clinic.


Saqer’s patient, Ronald Evan Cooper, 73, of Montgomery, was sentenced to 80 years in prison in May 2017 for intoxication manslaughter. Cooper fatally struck with his car Roland Sedlmeier, 49, Melinda Sedlmeier, 42, Harley, 6, and Sofie, 4, as the family departed Sunday church service Sept. 20, 2015 on Texas 105.

Evidence presented at Saqer’s sentencing showed he had patients submit to “unnecessary and dangerous” procedures and tests as performed by his unlicensed staff and then billed them to health care providers as if he had carried out the work, the District Attorney’s office stated.

Health care providers were fraudulently billed more than $14.6 million by Saquer, according to the DOJ press release.

Additionally, “Saqer’s scheme contributed to multiple overdose deaths,” read a statement from the DA’s Office.

Citing an interest in not conflicting with Saqer’s prosecution in federal court, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed six murder charges the former doctor was facing and a seventh felony charge. These seven charges resulted from the prosecution of Cooper, according to the DA’s office.

Between March 2014 and September 2015, five of Saqer’s patients allegedly died as a result of him furnishing them drugs knowing they were substance abusers. A sixth murder charge alleged a patient in 2011 died after Saqer had an unlicensed person furnish “nontherapeutic” drugs, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The other dismissed charge was for a first-degree organized criminal activity felony for allegedly billing insurance companies for services not rendered in the span of five years, the affidavit showed.

The charges for which Saqer was sentenced resulted from work on the case against him as led by Assistant DA Tamara Holland, along with the Texas Department of Insurance and the Conroe Police Department, the DA’s Office stated.

“I want to thank all of the many people who worked so hard to obtain this outcome. There were endless hours spent on this case by a significant number of investigators and prosecutors, all to ensure Dr. Saqer finally met justice for his dangerous scheme,” Holland said in a statement.

District Attorney Brett Ligon spoke on the impact the Sedlmeier crash had on his office.

“I am proud to have our office work in close cooperation with multiple state and federal agencies, to investigate a case that has affected our community

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dentist

Dr. Sherry Powell, Dentist In West Columbia SC, Provides Gentle, Affordable Dental Care For The Family – Press Release

Dr. Sherry Powell, Dentist In West Columbia SC, Provides Gentle, Affordable Dental Care For The Family

Dentist Dr. Sherry Powell is considered to be among the best dentists in West Columbia SC. As a gentle family dentist for the community, Dr. Powell has the expertise to offer services such as dental cleanings, porcelain veneers, composite fillings, etc.

According to announcements released by Dr. Sherry Powell, this dentist in West Columbia SC provides expert dental care in a comfortable and peaceful environment. Her services are affordable and include dentures, teeth whitening, root canal, veneers, dental implants, and family dentistry. Patients can book same-day appointments and meet with her to discuss oral health issues and develop a dental health plan.  

Dr. Sherry Powell is trusted by families to address children’s dental health issues. Children need to learn about proper oral care from an early age. Periodic dental check-ups are an excellent way to apprise them of the right way to maintain oral hygiene, prevent dental caries, and ensure that their gums and teeth stay healthy for life. Through her pediatric dentistry experience, Dr. Powell enables children to grow up healthy, speak clearly, and smile confidently.

Dr. Powell helps her patients gain an alluring smile through porcelain veneers, which are thin shells of ceramic attached to the front portion of one’s teeth. This cosmetic dental enhancement is highly durable and can last for up to 25 years with very little maintenance. Veneers are a very agreeable solution for malformed, discolored, and misaligned teeth. 

The clinic of this dentist near me is also a popular choice for teeth whitening. Both men and women have benefited from Dr. Powell’s services by acquiring whiter teeth that no longer exhibit the stains from sodas, caffeine, and food colors.

For more information, go to https://www.dentistdrpowell.com/

Dr. Sherry Powell said, “Our team offers our patients full service dental care that addresses their every dental need. From routine dental cleanings to teeth whitening, we offer it all under one roof to save you the time, money and the hassle of bouncing between multiple specialists. We believe in offering high quality, professional dental care with compassion and a soft touch. We offer dental care that is gentle, relaxing and above all, exceptional. From the moment you walk in our doors, we aim to put your mind at ease that your teeth are in the best hands possible. We treat each patient with the care and kindness that we would our own family.”

On dental cleaning services provided at the clinic, Dr. Powell said, “Your teeth are one of the most important features which should be kept healthy and beautiful. To maintain it, you need to have a regular oral check-up just like body check-ups. These check-ups may involve cleaning of teeth, removing a cavity, fixing a broken tooth, teeth whitening, etc. Researchers have shown that problems related to the teeth and gums can indicate some major health issues in the body, so regular check-ups are important.

If you live in West Columbia or a nearby region, you will be glad to know that Dr Sherry Powell is

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health

Family caregivers struggle with added mental stress of COVID-19

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This story was published in partnership with The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy.

When COVID-19 emerged, Jyl Choate’s family entered into strict lockdown. They had no choice: Choate, 51, doesn’t have just herself to think of. Beyond caring for her husband and two children, she is responsible for her 87-year-old mother. 

“Nobody wants to kill grandma,” said Choate, who lives just outside of Atlanta in Marietta, Georgia. “If any of us get the virus, she will probably get it.”

Choate’s whole life revolves around her mother: 14 hours a day, seven days a week, she makes sure her mom eats, exercises, takes her medications and goes to doctors’ appointments. Even before COVID-19, she stopped working to stay on top of her mother’s needs. Now, the pandemic has strained her family’s finances. Choate is more stressed than ever, sleeping maybe four or five hours a night.

Family caregivers says the coronavirus pandemic complicates their already difficult task. (Photo: Getty Images)

If not for the health crisis, Choate might have hired someone to help care, even just for a few hours every now and then, to alleviate some of the burden. Now the risk of exposure is too great to allow anyone else into the home. Already, her mother has a host of medical conditions, including heart disease, COPD, osteoarthritis and macular degeneration. 

COVID-19 could be a death sentence. If her mother falls — which happens often — Choate has tried to take care of her at home, doing all she can to keep her from going to the hospital. She recently had to break that rule, taking her mother in for emergency care. But because of the pandemic, she isn’t allowed in to visit her mom and provide the assistance she normally would have.

Those worries have political ramifications for Choate, who wrote in a vote for Jeb Bush in 2016. She is a lifelong Republican in a state looking increasingly competitive for 2020. But she can’t vote for Donald Trump, she said — especially after the president, who recently contracted the coronavirus, told voters “don’t be afraid” of COVID-19.

“We’ve got friends who died, but ‘It’s OK, don’t be scared.’ I’m supposed to tell my 87-year-old mother don’t be scared?” she said. “Don’t turn around and tell me I have nothing to be scared of when I have been locked down with my entire family since March.”

She watched the vice presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence with rapt attention. Hanging in the balance, she said, was the decision whether to break with her party and vote for Joe Biden, or to just stay home.

Almost 42 million Americans, or 16 percent of all adults, serve as caregivers for relatives 50 or over. The majority of the people doing this unpaid, labor-intensive work are women, and, on average, they are just shy of 50 themselves, according to data compiled by the AARP. Many have jobs outside the home, or are also

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medicine

Allina to pull medical residents out of United Family Medicine clinic on St. Paul’s West Seventh



(Thinkstock)


© Provided by Twin Cities Pioneer Press
(Thinkstock)

For 50 years, the United Family Medicine clinic on St. Paul’s West Seventh Street has catered to the working poor and underinsured patients, including today many East African immigrants and neighborhood residents.

And the nonprofit health center has done so hand-in-hand with Allina Health, a 12-hospital, 90-clinic health network that has provided the majority of the clinic’s physicians, 21 medical residents, electronic records, lab services and even their phone line.

Now, Allina is in the process of pulling out all 21 medical residents and finding another location near United Hospital where the medical residents can complete their three-year rotations in family medicine.

By the end of the year, the faculty physicians are expected to follow them, leaving the clinic nearly devoid of primary care doctors. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are expected to pick up the slack under the clinic’s new model of team-based care.

“The pandemic certainly has accelerated changes in the health care system,” said Sara Criger, president of United Hospital, who said medical residents and faculty had complained of patient scheduling and other issues at the clinic, hurting the reputation of Allina’s residency program.

Criger added: “There were problems that United Family Medicine needed to address. As the clinic made changes, we had to determine if they meet our requirements or not, and it became apparent that they did not.”

The deteriorating relationship between the community health clinic and Allina has led to finger-pointing on at least three sides.

CALLS FOR CEO TO RESIGN

Alarmed by a lengthy period of employee furloughs and other emergency management steps, a group of former United Family Medicine board members and West Seventh Street advocates have laid blame on the health clinic’s leadership and called for them to step down.

Those advocates include former United Family Medicine board chair Andrea Marboe, longtime West Seventh Street activist Marit Brock and former St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune.

“We’ve totally lost confidence in the program and they should stop funding them,” said Thune, who is circulating a petition calling for major funders to sever ties and for United Family Medicine Chief Executive Officer Ann Nyakundi to resign.

“We want a neighborhood clinic with doctor-patient relationships, real family physicians that follow you to the hospital,” Thune said. “She walked in and six months later turned the clinic upside down. We just prefer she leave now.”

Nyakundi and Jonathan Watson, CEO of the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, said operations at the clinic have stabilized since the start of the pandemic.

“When I inherited the clinic, our 2020 budget at the start of the year was actually worse than it is now,” said Nayakundi, who stepped in as CEO last October after the previous CEO resigned. “We’ve done a really good job efficiently navigating the pandemic and staffing to demand. We temporarily had furloughs, but we’ve brought all of the staff back, and we’re actually in a period of growth.”

Critics, including former board

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medicine

Allina to pull medical residents out of United Family Medicine clinics on St. Paul’s West Seventh



(Thinkstock)


© Provided by Twin Cities Pioneer Press
(Thinkstock)

For 50 years, the United Family Medicine clinic on St. Paul’s West Seventh Street has catered to the working poor and underinsured patients, including today many East African immigrants and residents.

And the nonprofit health center has done so hand-in-hand with Allina Health, a 12-hospital, 90-clinic health network that has provided the majority of the clinic’s physicians, 21 medical residents, electronic records, lab services and even their phone line.

Now, Allina is in the process of pulling out all 21 medical residents and finding another location near United Hospital where the students can complete their three-year rotations in family medicine.

By the end of the year, the faculty physicians are expected to follow them, leaving the clinic nearly devoid of primary care doctors. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are expected to pick up the slack in the clinic’s new team-based care model.

“The pandemic certainly has accelerated changes in the healthcare system,” said Sara Criger, president of United Hospital, who said medical residents and faculty had complained of patient scheduling and other issues at the clinic, hurting the reputation of Allina’s residency program.

Criger added: “There were problems that United Family Medicine needed to address. As the clinic made changes, we had to determine if they meet our requirements or not, and it became apparent that they did not.”

The deteriorating relationship between the community health clinic and Allina has led to finger-pointing on at least three sides.

CALLS FOR CEO TO RESIGN

Alarmed by a lengthy period of employee furloughs and other emergency management steps, a group of former United Family Medicine board members and West Seventh Street advocates have laid blame on the health clinic’s leadership and called for them to step down.

Those advocates include former United Family Medicine board chair Andrea Marboe, longtime West Seventh Street activist Marit Brock, former St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune and St. Paul Public Works Director Sean Kershaw, who was recently a nonprofit leader.

“We’ve totally lost confidence in the program and they should stop funding them,” said Thune, who is circulating a petition calling for major funders to sever ties and for United Family Medicine Chief Executive Officer Ann Nyakundi to resign.

“We want a neighborhood clinic with doctor-patient relationships, real family physicians that follow you to the hospital,” Thune said. “She walked in and six months later turned the clinic upside down. We just prefer she leave now.”

Nyakundi and Jonathan Watson, CEO of the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, said operations at the clinic have stabilized since the start of the pandemic.

“When I inherited the clinic, our 2020 budget at the start of the year was actually worse than it is now,” said Nayakundi, who stepped in as CEO last October after the previous CEO resigned. “We’ve done a really good job efficiently navigating the pandemic and staffing to demand. We temporarily had furloughs, but we’ve brought all of the staff back, and we’re actually

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fitness

COVID fuels eating disorders, family stress

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Here are 4 tips on how to get your kids to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY

Pediatricians and public health experts predict a potentially dramatic increase in childhood obesity this year as months of pandemic eating, closed schools, stalled sports and public space restrictions extend indefinitely.

About one in seven children have met the criteria for childhood obesity since 2016, when the federal National Survey of Children’s Health changed its methodology, a report out Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found. 

Though the percentage of children considered obese declined slightly in the past 10 years, it is expected to jump in 2020.

“We were making slow and steady progress until this,” said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, a Northwestern University economist and professor. “It’s likely we will have wiped out a lot of the progress that we’ve made over the last decade in childhood obesity.”

The trend, seen in pediatric offices, is especially concerning as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week expanded its definition of those at elevated risk of severe COVID-19 disease and death to include people with a body mass index of 25 to 30. Previously, only those with a BMI of 30 and higher were included. That could mean 72% of all Americans are at higher risk of severe disease based on their weight.

Obesity is a top risk factor for nearly all of the chronic health conditions that make COVID-19 more dangerous, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer. Childhood obesity is a leading predictor of obesity later in life.

BMI factors in weight and height to measure body fat. It can overestimate body fat in people with muscular builds and underestimate it in those who have lost muscle, according to the National Institutes of Health. 

Children are “gaining not insignificant amounts of weight,” said Dr. Lisa Denike, who chairs pediatrics for Northwest Permanente in Portland, Oregon. “We’ve seen kids gain 10 to 20 pounds in a year, who may have had a BMI as a preteen in the 50 or 75th percentile and are now in the 95th percentile. That’s a significant crossing of percentiles into obesity.”

Eli Lilly and Johnson  Johnson pause COVID-19 vaccine trials. Why experts say that’s reassuring, not frightening

Denike said one 11-year-old patient at his physical was found to have gained 40 pounds. Type 2 diabetes rates in children are rising, and even though the boy doesn’t have it now, Denike said, “I suspect he will in the coming years as his parents already have it.”

“He’s home in an environment struggling with parents with the same issues rather than learning in health class and having activity outside,” she said. “Kids are reflections of what their parents do.”

Racial, socioeconomic disparities  

Disparities in childhood obesity rates have existed for decades and mirror the disproportionate way COVID-19 affects people of color and those with low incomes, said Jamie Bussel, a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

“In both cases, these outcomes

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health

Every family should consider Thanksgiving ‘risk’ -Fauci [Video]

Fauci made the comments in a virtual fireside chat during Johns Hopkins University’s Health Policy Forum, pre-recorded on October 15 but aired on Friday, October 16.

“You can’t enter in the cool months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline,” said Fauci. He again warned of a greater risk of coronavirus transmission when there are indoor gatherings of people without masks on.

Wisconsin and other states in the U.S. Midwest and beyond are battling surges in COVID-19 cases, with new infections and hospitalizations rising to record levels in an ominous sign of a nationwide resurgence as temperatures get colder.

Nine states, including Michigan and North Carolina, reported record one-day increases of new infections on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally. Michigan last set a record for new daily cases on April 3 in the early days of the pandemic in the United States.

Video Transcript

ANTHONY FAUCI: –40 to 50,000. You can’t enter into the cool months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline. And looking at the map and seeing the heat map, how it lights up with test positivity that is in more than 30-plus states, is going in the wrong direction.

ELLEN MACKENZIE: I suspect many Thanksgivings are going to look a little bit different this year.

ANTHONY FAUCI: I think they will, Dean MacKenzie. I think people are going to have to make a choice of where they fit in the risk-benefit ratio of having someone come in maybe from out of town who’s been through a crowded airport to come into a home. Who do you have in the home? Are there vulnerable people? Are there the elderly? Are there people with underlying conditions? I think each family needs to think seriously about that and make a decision based on the level of risk that they want to put themselves through.

ELLEN MACKENZIE: Yep. Yep.

Source Article

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