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Priest Prompts F.B.I. To Investigate Unneeded Surgeries

A Roman Catholic priest is reported to be the whistleblower that prompted the F.B.I. to investigate alleged unneeded heart operations by two Northern California doctors. The Reverend John Corapi says Doctor Chae Hyun Moon in Redding told him that he needed an immediate triple bypass. After preparing his will the priest scheduled his operation in Las Vegas, not in Redding. Then a cardiologist told him there was something unusual.

The priest told the San Francisco Chronicle, “I’ve got one group of doctors telling me I’m near death, and the others saying I’m fine.” Corapi says he got a third, fourth, fifth and sixth opinion and all agreed his heart is OK. He then called the F.B.I., the California Medical Board and his insurance company and last month 40 F.B.I. agents raided Redding Medical Center to cart away thousands of documents.

The California State Medical Board moved Friday to suspend the two-doctors´ licenses. And Corapi is among five former patients who have filed lawsuits for alleged malpractice. The hospital is owned by Santa Barbara-based Tenet Health Corporation.

Tenet stock has dropped 44 percent in the past two weeks and its 113 facilities nationwide are under federal review for allegedly over billing Medicare by millions of dollars.