Coronary A True Story of Medicine Gone Awry

ISBN-10: 0743267559

ISBN-13: 9780743267557

Edition: N/A

Authors: Stephen Klaidman

List price: $19.99 Buy it from $11.81
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Description:

A chilling real-life medical thriller,Coronarychronicles the story of two highly respected heart doctors who violated the most sacred principle of their profession: First, do no harm. In the summer of 2002, fifty-five-year-old John Corapi, a Catholic priest with a colorful background, visited Dr. Chae Hyun Moon, a celebrated cardiologist in Redding, California. Corapi had been suffering from exhaustion and shortness of breath, and although a physical examination and a conventional stress test revealed nothing abnormal, Moon insisted that the calcium level in Corapi's coronary arteries called for a highly invasive diagnostic test: an angiogram. A chain-smoking Korean immigrant known for his gruff bedside manner, Moon performed the procedure briskly and immediately handed down a devastating diagnosis: "I'm sorry; there is nothing I can do for you. You need a triple bypass tomorrow morning." He then abruptly left the room. Several hours later, however, Moon inexplicably decided the surgery could wait until Corapi returned from a previously scheduled cross-country trip. Unnerved by the dire diagnosis and also by Moon's inconsistent statements, Corapi sought other opinions. To his amazement, a second, third, and fourth doctor found that his heart was perfectly healthy. In fact, for a man his age, Corapi's arteries wereremarkably free of disease. Sensing a cause more disturbing than human error, Corapi took his story to the FBI. As local agent Mike Skeen soon discovered, Corapi was one of a number of people who had suspicions about Moon and Moon's go-to cardiac surgeon, Dr. Fidel Realyvasquez, an equally respected member of the close-knit northern California community. Working at a hospital owned by Tenet Healthcare, Moon would make the diagnoses and Realyvasquez would perform the surgeries. Together, these leaders of the Redding medical establishment put hundreds of healthy people at risk, some of whom never recovered. Soon Skeen launched a major investigation, interviewing numerous doctors and patients, and forty federal agents raided the hospital where the doctors worked. A timely and provocative dissection of America's medical-industrial complex,Coronarylays bare the financial structures that drive the American healthcare system, and which precipitated Moon's and Realyvasquez's actions. In a scheme that placed the demands of Wall Street above the lives of its patients, Tenet Healthcare rewarded doctors based on how much revenue they generated for the corporation. A meticulous three-year FBI investigation and hundreds of civil suits culminated in no criminal charges but a series of settlements with Tenet Healthcare and the doctors that totaled more than $450 million and likely put an end to Moon's and Realyvasquez's medical careers. The case's every twist and turn is documented here. A riveting, character-rich narrative and a masterpiece of long-form journalism,Coronaryis as powerful as it is alarming. This is a hair-raising story of the hundreds of men and women who went under the knife, not in the name of medicine, but of profit and prestige. Brilliantly told, Stephen Klaidman'sCoronaryis a cautionary tale in the age of miracle medicine, and a shocking reminder to always get a second opinion.
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Book details

List price: $19.99
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 6/3/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Prologue: An Ill Omen
A Historical Precedent
The City
Old-West Medicine
A Case of Abandonment
The Outsider
An Error in Judgment
The Investigation
The Investigation II
Poor Patient Selection
The Raid
Bad Outcomes
Preparing for Battle
The Company
The Civil Cases
The Intensivist
"Qui Tam"
The Townspeople and the Fisher Case
The Doctor, the Priest, and the Accountant
A Normal Life
The Endgame
The Settlement
Author's Note
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index
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