Ga. provider seeks gag order in mammo fraud suit

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An attorney for a central Georgia healthcare provider at the center of 21 lawsuits alleging a radiologic technologist entered incorrect mammogram results has asked for a gag order on public comments from plaintiffs in the case.

Houston Healthcare Systems’ attorney, Jonathan Marigliano, also argued the case should be moved to Houston County, Ga., as opposed the current location in Bibb County, according to a report in The Telegraph.

The lawsuits allege that Rachael Rapraeger, a former radiologic technologist, entered negative results for nearly 1,300 mammograms that had not been reviewed by a radiologist. Ten of those patients were later found to have positive results, according to The Telegraph.

Marigliano and Houston Healthcare contend that the plaintiffs’ comments have prejudiced the court process because they can discuss medical issues related to the case, while the defendants are unable to respond because of patient confidentiality rules. He also said the media has left out information from various investigations that indicated Rapraeger acted alone, according to the report.

Arguing against a gag order, Neal Graham, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, was quoted by The Telegraph as saying information from the case is “a matter of public health,” and that a FDA investigation discovered a lack of supervision and accountability.

On whether to move the case to Houston County, The Telegraph reported that Marigliano believes Houston County to be more convenient, while also indicating that jury judgments from Bibb County tend to be higher than in Houston County. Graham said a decision to move the case should not occur until jury selection, according to the report.

Click here for more background on the case from Health Imaging.