LAS VEGAS, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert Eglet, attorney for the plaintiffs, in trial against Health Plan of Nevada for role in largest outbreak of hepatitis C in U.S. history, questioned witness Melvin Hawkins about speed scoping at Southwest Medical, the sister corporation of Health Plan of Nevada. When asked about the practices at Southwest Medical, Hawkins, a former Southwest GI technician, confirmed 20 colonoscopies were routinely conducted in 3 hours. The witness testified procedures took 9 minutes including, bringing the patient into the room, anesthetizing the patient, conducting the procedure, moving the patient out of room and cleaning the room, describing the procedure as like a car wash.
When asked whether the practices at Southwest Medical were known to Health Plan of Nevada, Hawkins testified, everyone in their building knew about how fast the procedures were being done including Dr. Evans, Medical Director of Southwest Medical. In video testimony during trial, Dr. Richard Colquitt, Health Plan of Nevada credentialing committee member, stated Dr. Desai was "proud of being the fastest colonoscopist in town."
"The Health Plan of Nevada gambled with the lives of Nevada families. The Health Plan of Nevada knew what was going on at the clinics, they knew about the bad practices of the doctors and did nothing," said Robert Eglet. "The Health Plan of Nevada took billions in insurance premiums from Nevada families and is responsible for the doctors they require patients to use," said Eglet.
With an approximately 80% market share, Health Plan of Nevada collected over $15 billion in premiums from Nevada families from 1997 to 2007 and $1.8 billion in 2012. For daily trial updates: twitter @LVHepCTrial.