Clinic's owner may face fine

Gina Damron of the Detroit Free Press reports:

The owner of a Lathrup Village clinic accused of improperly disposing of medical waste said Tuesday that he’s putting biohazard bags in every examination room to ensure that materials don’t end up in regular trash bins again.

Dr. A. Alberto Hodari could find out this week whether he’ll face fines after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) searched Dumpsters at his WomanCare clinics in Lathrup Village and Sterling Heights. The Dumpsters were searched last week after an anti-abortion group claimed to have recovered medical waste, including parts of aborted fetuses, and patient records from a trash bin behind the Lathrup office.

Hodari, who could be fined up to $2,500 for each violation, said he doubts aborted fetuses were in the Dumpsters.

Robert McCann, spokesman for DEQ, wouldn’t comment on what was found but said Hodari will be notified of the status of the investigation this week.

At his clinic in Lathrup Village on Tuesday, Hodari showed off eight new trash cans with red biohazard bags for hazardous materials. He has also purchased shredders for documents with patient information.

Hodari said state investigators found patient sign-in sheets. He said the items were thrown away improperly by two employees. Hodari said he’s enforcing stricter disposal rules. He said he found a blood-soaked sponge in a regular trash can Tuesday and sent the employee home.

“It happens,” Hodari said. “I know it does.”

Members of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, based in Michigan, claimed to have found remains of aborted fetuses.

Lathrup Village police are also investigating the disposal of patients’ medical records. Sgt. Vincent Lynch, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday, said last week he expected to turn the case over to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office this week. Prosecutors did not return calls seeking comment.

Lynch said last week that up to 50 patients could be identified in medical records, which were mostly created in February and included personal information and the types of procedures performed. Lynch said improper disposal of medical records is a misdemeanor.

Source – Detroit Free Press 

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