witch hunt : OTD Professor Thomas Kossmann

Discussion in 'Australian Medical Council (AMC) EXAM' started by IMG, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Kossmann to continue practising

    * Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie
    * August 28, 2008

    Sydney Morning Herald

    Victoria's Medical Practitioners Board has amended the registration of controversial surgeon Thomas Kossmann's to limit his ability to independently perform spinal and pelvic surgery.

    - Registration amended
    - No 'risk' evidence
    - 'Positive step'

    But the board has permitted The Alfred hospital's former trauma director to continue practising as an orthopedic surgeon.

    Releasing a statement on its ongoing investigation into Professor Kossmann's clinical practices, the board said it had no evidence at this stage to suggest the German-born surgeon posed a risk to public safety so long as he stuck to an agreement not to engage in spinal or pelvic surgery without the close supervision of a more senior surgeon.

    As part of the arrangement between Professor Kossmann and the board, he has agreed to provide monthly statutory declarations to verify he has complied with the restrictions on his registration regarding spinal and pelvic surgery.

    Professor Kossmann resigned from The Alfred in April ahead of the release of a hospital-commissioned peer review which concluded he engaged in flawed, excessive surgery and rorted the Transport Accident Commission insurance scheme.

    Professor Kossmann has released a statement welcoming the board's decision to allow him to continue practising orthopedic surgery.

    "I would like to reiterate I totally reject the flawed findings of The Alfred hospital Peer Review and I see the board's decision as a positive step in fully restoring my professional reputation,'' he said.

    COMMENT:

    TO the last posting, how do you not know that there are Hitler type consultants of Australian origin and training who are controlling the scenario and greasing their palms. Rather, the evidence is very strong. Should these people also be kicked out of the system? Why only Kossmann? It is all about money and the greed for it
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    It is interesting that 6 hours later, both the articles in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age about Thomas Kossmann have been removed.

    Who says that press censorship does not occur in Oz?
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Someone needs to be blamed for the collective irregularities of Australian specialist claims from the TAC and Medicare
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Ombudsman's report critical of former Alfred Hospital surgeon Kossmann

    * October 29, 2008
    The AGE

    Former Alfred Hospital surgeon Professor Thomas Kossmann failed to "act with integrity and placed his private interests ahead of his public duty", a Victorian Ombudsman's report has found.

    - 'Unchecked' power: report
    - 'Dysfunctional' hospital
    - Kossmann maintains innocence

    Professor Kossmann resigned from his position as head of the hospital's trauma unit in April this year, after complaints about his clinical conduct and billing practices arose last August.

    Ombudsman George Brouwer's report, tabled in the Victorian parliament this morning, found Professor Kossmann went unchecked during his time at the hospital.

    "His position of power and influence, unchecked by what I consider should be normal administrative controls, enabled him to create a field of practice in which he benefited both professionally and financially," Mr Brouwer said.

    He found the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) failed to monitor and audit Professor Kossmann's bills, resulting in "significant financial incentives for what in my opinion were inappropriate billing practices".

    The report also said Professor Kossmann sought to maximise his personal income from medical supply companies, often using his position at The Alfred to do so.

    "In my view, he failed to act with integrity and placed his private interests ahead of his public duty," Mr Brouwer said.

    The report agrees with an earlier finding by the hospital's Peer Review Panel, that Professor Kossmann had billed the TAC, WorkSafe and Medicare for surgeries that were not performed, or he had not performed, or were not necessary.

    The amounts involved were hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Mr Brouwer said during his investigation he spoke to 12 of Professor Kossmann's peers, all of whom criticised the results of his surgeries.

    He also was highly critical of Professoressor Jeffrey Rosenfeld, a senior clinician at the hospital, who had allegedly ignored concerns about Professor Kossmann.

    "... I consider that the evidence portrays a dysfunctional hospital wracked by back-biting and interpersonal conflicts over a number of years."

    Professor Kossmann has maintained his innocence since the allegations first arose.

    AAP

    Note that the Supreme Court action appears to have fizzled out

    HAS THE WITCH HUNT UNCOVERED THE WIZARD OF OZ AND HIS BAND OF MERRY MEN (AND WOMEN)?
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Kossman committed fraud.. not against the politicians or TAC BUT every Australian resident who pays tax. No one forced him to do it - he chose to do so - thank God he never operated on me.
    For those who don't like the Australian health care system go somewhere else - personally I like my carers to have english as a first language and to have a full comphension and understanding of Australian culture. If you have the attitude that the Australia needs foreign doctors - take your attitude with you - you aren't doing yourself or anyone else a favour with it and it's quite simply imo unprofessional.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Whose fraud?

    If Kossmann had committed fraud, he would have been charged. The mysterious thing is that he was not: there are some interesting gaps in this case - because it appears that there may have been corporate irregularities which may have included Kossmann - the good old Ozzie mateship system - you rub my back and I yours

    When they find out, sorry mate, everyone for himself!

    So, what attitude is there to take along? Why has being able to speak English got to do with it?

    Look matey, you live and operate in the world's largest open prison! There are so many descendants of transported people free who are committing thousands of unethical and even unlawful deeds: even those who are officials of the Royal Colleges!

    I think Kossmann was the fall guy for the big Victorian medical fraud of the decade: more than half the medical profession needs to be investigated for Medicare irregularities whether they are native English speakers or not!

    The Jayant Patel case is all quiet and I bet there would be elements of fraud using his name - like the QLD government pushing him to operate so that they can claim from the Commonwealth (ie. Medicare) monies which are likely to be in the Option B Queensland Specialist Award scheme: i.e. a fee split between the Staff Specialist and the State in lieu of private practice
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Fraud?

    The Age

    Surgery frauds alleged
    Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie
    July 30, 2009

    UP TO 27 surgeons may have been involved in defrauding the Victorian Government’s accident insurers of millions of dollars, an investigation by state Ombudsman George Brouwer has found.

    Mr Brouwer, in a report tabled in Parliament yesterday, said flawed billing procedures at the Transport Accident Commission and WorkSafe had exposed both agencies to fraud.

    He found the agencies had paid surgeons for procedures that never occurred or for operations performed contrary to accepted medical guidelines. ‘‘The amounts involved have the potential to exceed millions of dollars,’’ Mr Brouwer said.

    The report follows a previous inquiry into The Alfred hospital’s ex-trauma chief, Thomas Kossmann, who was found to have billed the TAC and WorkSafe for surgery that had not occurred or was done by others.

    Dr Kossmann, who has denied wrongdoing, is being investigated by Victoria Police for alleged fraud. The chief executives of The Alfred and the TAC resigned after the Kossmann controversy.

    In his latest investigation, Mr Brouwer focused on suspect billings by up to 27 surgeons.

    Mr Brouwer said an external consultant engaged by WorkSafe last year found 16 ‘‘very high risk’’ surgeons had submitted bills between 2005 and June last year containing hundreds of procedures performed contrary to the Commonwealth Medicare Benefits Schedule.

    A separate WorkSafe audit of payments since June last year had identified another 11 surgeons who may have billed inappropriately. This audit also found suspect invoices from other medical service providers.

    An examination of TAC and WorkSafe payments in 2006-07 and 2007-08 found $9.5 million went to doctors who submitted bills that contradicted the rules.

    "It is clear that the TAC and WorkSafe’s current scrutiny of their systems have shown they were vulnerable to fraud and being taken advantage of by service providers," the report said. ‘‘During the investigation I became aware that historically the TAC and WorkSafe have treated bills from surgeons with a fair degree of trust … (they) did not consider billing by surgeons presented a high risk.’’

    Mr Brouwer also found the TAC and WorkSafe were reluctant to investigate claims of inappropriate billing, noting that both failed to take the issue seriously until investigators from his office began questioning senior executives under oath last year. ‘‘My investigation into the TAC identified an apparent reluctance to conduct formal investigations where the subject was a medical practitioner.’’

    Out of a random sample of TAC requests to 13 doctors to repay money, only two had done so in full, Mr Brouwer found. Two others had partially repaid money, while four had refused to do so and the status of a further four was unknown.

    In response to the inquiry, the TAC and WorkCover have agreed to:

    ■ Develop and report to Mr Brouwer new payment systems to minimise rorting.

    ■ Continue audits of payments to radiology, anaesthetic and pathology providers between 2001 and 2008.

    ■ Develop policies to prosecute and recover cash from doctors.

    Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said the Government should refer the allegations to the Auditor-General to determine how much public money has been lost. ‘‘This Government was warned about these failures in November ’07 … and they’ve failed to act,’’ he said.

    Premier John Brumby defended the TAC and WorkSafe, saying both acted as soon as they became aware of the problem. ‘‘Illegal billing of any description is inexcusable,’’ he said.

    TAC chief executive Janet Dore said the agency was improving the accountability and transparency of billing. ‘‘It is fair to say that our billing system was in need of an overhaul and that’s what we’ve done.’’

    WorkSafe deputy chief executive Ian Forsyth said the organisation continued to introduce improvements, such as prior approval for elective surgery and requiring stronger evidence of procedures performed.

    With AAP
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dead silence........criminals in action and being found out on the large expanse called Terra Australis.....it's teeming with 'em
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The reputation of the medical profession is now at stake: the State needs to take urgent corrective measures to restore public confidence in the profession - not that they are saints!

    If there is fraud, a doctor, whether white or black or brown or yellow, needs to be hauled up: also whether they are Australian or non Australian qualified and whether they are College officials or not.....no one is exempt.

    Unlike the Orwellian edict, no one is more equal than others!
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Not enough evidence to charge Kossmann

    The AGE
    RICHARD BAKER AND NICK MCKENZIE
    December 3, 2009



    A LONG-RUNNING Victoria Police inquiry into The Alfred hospital's former trauma chief Thomas Kossmann has found insufficient evidence to charge the surgeon over his billing practices.

    The Transport Accident Commission referred Dr Kossmann to police last year following a scathing report by the State Ombudsman in which the surgeon was accused of inappropriate billing practices and ''harvesting patients'' to maximise his income.

    Detective Inspector John Potter of the fraud squad has advised that there was ''insufficient evidence to support the proposition that Dr Kossmann's billing practices were either criminally dishonest or deceptive in nature''.

    ''As a result, I am of the view that the prospect of successfully prosecuting Professor Kossmann in the criminal courts would be extremely difficult, taking into account the standard of proof required to obtain a conviction,'' Inspector Potter wrote.

    ''There were also a number of other allegations against Professor Kossmann involving questionable surgical practices, banking arrangements, secondary employment and private business interests. However, these matters were not considered to be of a criminal nature and therefore were not investigated.''

    A spokesman for Dr Kossmann yesterday said the surgeon and his family were ''enormously relieved'' police had closed the investigation.

    ''He feels fully vindicated. As there are proceedings for defamation and unfair dismissal before the Supreme Court he is not in a position to comment further,'' Dr Kossmann's spokesman said.

    The surgeon has taken legal action against his former employer, Bayside Health, after he was suspended as trauma director in 2007 after a peer review panel appointed by The Alfred found he performed harmful, unnecessary surgery, had exaggerated his CV and had billed for surgery that was never done.

    A report tabled in State Parliament last year by Ombudsman George Brouwer was highly critical of Dr Kossmann, The Alfred and the TAC, which is funded by motor vehicle registrations and pays for the medical care of Victorian road accident victims.

    According to Mr Browuer, Dr Kossmann earned $1.5 million in TAC fees in 2007, almost $1 million more than the next biggest TAC-grossing surgeon.

    On one day in late 2006, he billed the TAC $35,576 for 36 procedures, and for one patient he charged $58,000 for 112 procedures. On another occasion he billed for surgery when he was in Japan.

    ''It is clear that he had a great interest in maximising his private income … he focused on compensable patients, 'harvesting them', as one clinician described,'' Mr Brouwer said.

    The Ombusdman's investigators identified up to 21 bank accounts belonging to Dr Kossmann that Mr Brouwer said were used to shuffle earnings to minimise tax.

    Mr Brouwer also criticised the TAC over its poor auditing of bills submitted by surgeons. Police are also believed to have concerns about the TAC's monitoring of billing by Dr Kossmann and other surgeons.

    A TAC investigation into billing by Victorian surgeons last year uncovered more than $7 million in suspect invoices.

    The TAC and The Alfred have implemented stricter surgical billing procedures following Mr Brouwer's investigation.

    Victoria's Medical Practitioners Board last year amended Dr Kossmann's registration to limit his ability to independently perform spinal and pelvic surgery. But it permitted him to continue practising as an orthopedic surgeon.


    COMMENT:

    Is it because they did not have good evidence to prosecute the rest of the Australian cronies in this debacle or was it Kossmann alone? Why should he face the music when so many others appear to be involved? The Australian Tax payers must rise up in arms to demand more accountability - even from the Omubudsman' office
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Medical Board clears surgeon Kossmann

    The AGE
    MICHAEL BACHELARD
    May 9, 2010

    THE Medical Practitioners Board has delivered another blow to the Victorian Ombudsman by clearing controversial trauma surgeon Thomas Kossmann to practise spinal and pelvic surgery.

    It's the fifth and final group to clear Dr Kossmann of wrongdoing after Ombudsman George Brouwer accused him in 2008 of poor practice, inappropriate billing and ''harvesting patients'' to maximise income.

    In a statement to The Sunday Age, the board confirmed that on April 23 it had lifted any conditions on Dr Kossmann's registration. It said it was ''satisfied that Dr Kossmann has demonstrated that he has the necessary skills and training in pelvic and spinal surgery''.

    The board also affirmed that Dr Kossmann ''understands the appropriate and ethical use of Medicare item numbers related to orthopaedic surgery''.

    Dr Kossmann is not currently working as a surgeon, but an agreement between the Medical Practitioners Board and the Royal Australian College of Surgeons means any surgery Dr Kossmann does for the next two years will be reviewed by two of his peers.

    The Ombudsman's 2008 report recommended further investigations by the police, the Australian Tax Office, the Transport Accident Commission, WorkSafe and the board. All have now found that Dr Kossmann has no case to answer.

    His lawsuit for defamation and unfair dismissal against his former employer, The Alfred hospital, is now the only action that remains on foot arising from the events that wrecked his reputation.

    He is seeking an apology, compensation and reinstatement by the hospital.

    The board's finding will strengthen the hand of critics of the Ombudsman, including the Australian Medical Association, which said yesterday Dr Kossmann had been denied procedural fairness during the investigation of him.

    The Ombudsman's powers are now under examination as part of a review of Victoria's anti-corruption arrangements by Elizabeth Proust.

    Dr Kossmann first came under fire in late 2007 when allegations were made about whether he was performing unnecessary and dangerous surgery on patients, and rorting the funding mechanism of the Transport Accident Commission.

    Dr Kossmann is working as a consultant for a law firm.


    NOTES (on advice from Nostradamus)


    1. The issue of multiple billings by other mates of Kossmann who were never exposed appeared to have been buried. Errant Australian surgeons remain at large (but never fear, there is no statute of limitation for this type of deception). Theoretically, Kossmann can still keep going for this who had fixed him (pay back time!)

    2. The fact that Kossmann has never been practising, though registered, again supports the fact that in Australia, the Medical Mafia can (figuratively) kill/injure any doctor they wished.

    3. It would be interesting to watch whether Kossmann can now find employment in the public or private sector as a trauma surgeon (noting that the whole country is so desperate for emergency doctors and specialists)

    4. Is this a 'shot across the bows' for OTDs that the Mafia is still very much in power? Or, are they losing their grip?

    5. That the Ombo's work is being scrutinised is very good news: this should be the case with NSW: with the Ombo and others including ICAC

    6. AMA Vic is certainly more reasonable and less 'mafia' like than AMA NSW though their enthusiasm with negotiating confidential deeds of release during industrial disputes is not a good practice (members beware! don't sign any confidential deed as future events may cause you seriously adverse outcomes - eg Galileo's case in this site)

    7. The MPBV during its twilight weeks of official existence, is at least showing some grace (compared with the NSWMB clinging on to their power to destroy - visit the HCCC site - and now legislation to form the NSW Medical Council!)

    8. Kossmann's legal advisors are brilliant: he will have a clean slate with the Medical Board of Australia. The RACS, like other Colleges (which are registered companies) do not have any statutory powers to negotiate undertakings: this is the function of the statutory regulatory agency, ie till end June 2010, the MPBV and, after that, the Medical Board of Australia.

    9. The transition of registration into the National Register should therefore result in the absence of the conditions and imaginary 'undertakings' (with the RACS) by virtue of these being unlawful.

    Well done, Kossmann - Herzlichen glückwunsch! Felicitations!
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Kossmann, if I were you, I will show two fingers to the RACS and tell them to pisss off, and shed the FRACS behind your name: it is a disgrace rather than an accolade. These people are thugs and the ACCC has shown them up before.
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Which law firm is Dr Kossman consulting out of?
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    why can't Kossmann consult from home? there are plenty of ambulance chasers in Australia...an expert opinion in planned litigation proceedings can be quite lucrative!
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Parliamentary Inquiry Submissions

    Submission 101 (by the ADTOA) in the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry on registration processes of OTDs and their support has a good factual write up
    on what Kossmann had to endure:


    www dot aph dot gov dot au/house/committee/haa/overseasdoctors/subs dot htm

    pages 27-31
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I agree with the contents of the ADTOA posting.

    A brilliant surgeon of international stature has been reduced to a private practitioner (not his own choice) by a bunch of unethical and unprofessional gaming club-conduct FRACSes and their red-neck cohorts

    Shame on you (some) Aussie doctors! I really hope the someone will make a formal complaint about your unprofessional conduct to the new Medical Board of Australia!
  18. ja12

    ja12 Guest

    I am a former patient at the Alfred and a former patient of Thomas Kossmann.

    I have to say what the Alfred did to him was disgusting. And i hope the people at the top of the Alfred are sacked. This should have never happen. They destroyed his reputation. Heads should roll. But you know what? No one will be held accountable at the Alfred for what happen when they should be.

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