Hustling Hope: San Diego doctor runs Contentious diabetes Practice

From Cheryl Clark | inewsource

Just about each Tuesday morning around 7:30, John McCreary of Poway can be found waiting for Dr. James Novak’s office to open. Almost consistently, McCreary said, he is the first one there.

Novak’s practice is recorded as the only one in the San Diego region offering Trina Health’s “Artificial Pancreas Treatment,” a four-hour IV insulin infusion procedure for those who have diabetes. Some people prefer McCreary, 69, who has wrestled with coronary artery pain for many years, said they believe the procedure is working for them.

Poway resident John McCreary, in his home Nov. 12, 2017, is currently a patient in Dr. James Novak’s Trina Health clinic at Pacific Beach. (Megan Wood/inewsource)
That Matters —
The state has a limited source of health care dollars to invest in services and drugs, which is the reason why the authorities and health plans need scientific evidence of individual benefit. This is particularly important for its 30.3 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, whose medical prices in 2012 totaled $245 billion.

Since he started going to Novak for its infusions last summer, he said the infusions have been successful. They’ve made the numbness in his hands “like I was just continuously grabbing on to a barrel cactus” — almost evaporate, McCreary said. He explained his Medicare coverage and his supplemental coverage from Colonial Penn Life Insurance Co. have compensated for everything.

McCreary said he’s likely to go now because of his extract. He has not heard anything will change in the clinic since the news last week that Trina founder and CEO G. Ford Gilbert has been indicted on fraud and bribery charges in Alabama.

“I figure it is likely to be a wait and see position,” he explained.

Gilbert is accused of bribery, health care fraud and wire fraud, among other charges, in what federal prosecutors call a “public corruption scheme.” He’s accused of committing an Alabama politician to try to get legislation passed that would have needed an insurance coverage there to pay for his infusions. The strategy and Medicare had previously denied coverage, depending on the lack of scientific proof that IV insulin infusions actually benefit patients. The legislation never passed. Gilbert and two other defendants are due in court on April 18.

At a text message on Monday, Gilbert said he believes news coverage has treated him unfairly, which an inewsourcestory printed Saturday has “hurt a great deal of people.”

Over the previous months, at least two practices have ceased offering the infusions, and also at least one, the Diabetes Relief Center at South Bronx, has removed the Trina emblem and all references to Gilbert from its site. A lot of other practices’ sites are thought to be undergoing care.

An issue mentioned in the indictment and at suits is the way Trina Health and its own practices bill Medicare and private insurance plans. Medicare denied coverage of IV insulin infusions at a determination in 2009, saying there was not adequate scientific evidence it profited patients. Health plans followed in denying coverage.

Gilbert found a means to submit claims to the procedure by dividing it into different component parts, including “refilling and maintenance of portable pump,” “extract into a vein for therapy,” and also “established individual office or other outpatient visit, generally 25 minutes” in order to get paid. BlueCross Blue Shield at Alabama and Montana has ceased reimbursing for Trina treatments.

G. Ford Gilbert, founder and CEO of Trina Health, has been revealed in an office in the Corporation’s Sacramento headquarters in Feb. 5, 2018. (Megan Wood/inewsource)

Though some patients said the insulin infusion therapy profited them, several San Diego endocrinologists who specialize in treating people with diabetes telephone the Trina Health procedure nothing more than a scam.

One is Dr. Georges Argoud, that has offices in Solana Beach and Chula Vista. He said he tries to talk from the insulin infusions.

Argoud called it a “travesty” that Trina practices are “misleading the public” and “victimizing those that are not able to detect a scam.” The therapy and also the infusions, he explained, are “a waste of Medicare resources.” Argoud, such as other experts interviewed by inewsource, cited the lack of clinical signs that Trina infusions have the favorable benefits advertised.

Novak told inewsource he started San Diego’s Trina Health clinic at August 2016 as an addition for his family medicine practice on Lamont Street at Pacific Beach. His is one of approximately a dozen who have recently worked nationwide from Las Vegas to Miami and out of Sacramento to Scottsdale.

Novak told inewsource at late last year, his first Trina clinic had about 25 patients weekly.

“The vast majority of individuals who do that procedure get enough benefit from it that they elect to maintain coming,” Novak explained. Many of his patients have “high wellbeing complications from the diabetes which they wish to enhance.”

Novak said nearly all of his patients obtaining the Trina infusions are dealing with neuropathy. Others have a sort of eye disease called retinopathy, or else they suffer with “erectile dysfunction, or gastroparesis, in which their gut isn’t working, and they’re having digestive issues, and we have a number … with significant fatty liver disorder,” he explained. Some of his patients have prediabetes.

Facebook used to promote Trina infusions

Jeannette Testamark, one of Novak’s patients, said she heard about the Trina infusions if she saw a post last year on Facebook publicizing the Pacific Beach clinic. In remarks on Facebook, the College Area resident said she had been obtaining the infusions last July.

A screenshot of a Trina Health ad published on Facebook on May 15, 2017.

Testamark told inewsource she does not like that the extract procedure requires her to be stuck nine times throughout the four-hour sessions. But, she said, her energy was increased “to the stage that I only recently joined the Y, so I could get back to exercising.” The pain in her legs? “It’s pretty much gone,” she explained. Testamark said Medicare coated her Trina sessions.

Novak, a member of this medical staff in Scripps Mercy Hospital, said he has not ” seen anyone have a bad result” from the Trina procedure. He explained he provides the infusions as part of his practice, since “I am considering holistic treatments and whatever we can do in order to return the body to a more natural equilibrium.” The infusions, he said, enhance blood circulation to the limbs and that helps heal wounds that affect people with diabetes.

Novak declined to be interviewed in person but spoke briefly last autumn with inewsource in a conference call with Trina CEO Gilbert. Attempts to achieve Novak this week were unsuccessful.

Gilbert said clinicians supplying the Trina infusions sign a confidentiality agreement, but he said he would let Novak to go over his Trina practice.

Several San Diego region Facebook users posted more than 100 opinions beneath a URL to an advertorial on Facebook concerning the San Diego clinic last year. Some said they first learned about the Trina infusions on Facebook. When asked regarding the advertorial final autumn, Gilbert said it was removed. He said it included claims.

San Diego physicians doubt Trina benefits patients

Retired nurse Arlene Way, 83, of Spring Valley said her podiatrist, Walter Jolley, known her to Novak’s clinic so she could find the Trina insulin infusions because of her neuropathy. Since she began receiving them, Way said, the sensations within her feet are returning.

” I feel all types of stuff,” she explained. Medicare and her supplemental strategy, United Healthcare, entirely cover her sessions. Revealed the procedure was broken down to component parts.

However, when Way told her endocrinologist, Dr. Jeffrey Sandler, about getting Trina infusions, she said he told her “he didn’t expect much to happen, but he didn’t object to my participating in the program.”

Sandler, a Scripps Mercy doctor, said in an interview he has told patients that visit him together with Trina Health brochures to throw them off.

Diabetes pros from all over the country, including 11 from San Diego County, criticized Trina Health’s claims, some saying the procedure is really a waste of time and money. Other people state the pitch to the procedure — that de-emphasizes the value of blood glucose control — can interfere with demonstrated diabetes care plans.

Dr. Patricia Shen-Chi Wu, an endocrinologist with Kaiser Permanente San Diego, commented on a Facebook post July on the brand new San Diego Trina clinic. She explained the artificial pancreas maintains will be “a scam.”

In an email to inewsource, she stated, “If Kaiser Permanente has any patients experiencing Trina infusions, they would be doing it against our guidance.”

Dr. Jeremy Pettus of this La Jolla-based Center for Biology Research in the VA San Diego Medical Center, said the Trina site “is concerning.”

“Regrettably, treatments like these … often charge tens of thousands of dollars and prey on people’s vulnerability, which is dreadful,” Pettus said. “Happily, I don’t know of individuals who have gone through that particular therapy and might direct them away, for sure, if I asked me about it.”

Trina founder Gilbert references a study by Dr. George Dailey, a Scripps Clinic endocrinologist, that Gilbert said shows his blood glucose extract works. However, Dailey said it doesn’t have such thing.

However every so often, Dailey gets a phone in the medical plan or an insurance company “asking me if that is something legitimate that they need to think about,” and when they need to incorporate it in their policy. His response is no.

In any case, he explained, the promises made on Trina Health’s site, that so many complications of diabetes can be prevented or reversed, are somewhat biased.

“Obviously, I am concerned that I’ve never seen a legitimate book anywhere else about this, so a bunch of individual testimonials is kind of painful, though that is the foundation for the promotion here,” Dailey said.

Dr. Steven Edelman, an endocrinology researcher at the University of California San Diego and founder and director of Take Charge of Your Diabetes forums, told inewsource in an email he knows about Trina Health and its founder.

“I do know it’s a scam,” Edelman said. “They’ve been ripping people off for many years.”

He declined to comment further.

Despite criticism against the San Diego diabetes physicians, Gilbert said he plans to open a second Trina clinic that summer in La Jolla.

——————————————————————

Cheryl Clark is an old healthcare writer in and in MedPage Today. Inewsource is an independent, investigative journalism nonprofit in San Diego that is supported by bases, philanthropists and private donors.

Source

http://www.buffalosfire.com/hustling-hope-san-diego-doctor-runs-controversial-diabetes-clinic/

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‘Fake doctor’ Hauled from village medical Staff in West Bengal

MALDA: The police have arrested one person, allegedly a bogus doctor, who was treating patients at a health camp at Malda district claiming to be an expert in treating various ailments.

Police today said the ‘fake physician’ was holding the medical camp at Barobagan village under Manikchak police station from where he was detained yesterday.

Two other persons allegedly involved in ridding the health camp were also detained.

The organisers had campaigned in neighboring villages regarding the medical camp in this “physician from Kolkata” would treat patients.

Within his prescription pad, also the ‘fake physician’ hailing from Karandighi in northeastern North Dinajpur district explained himself as an expert in medicine, sexual disorders, gastroenteritisand kidney ailments, the police said.

He was supplying a Rs 3500 bundle to kidney patients.

A great number of villagers had gathered at the camp but some of them got suspicious by his behavior and an altercation ensued, police said.

The police arrived at the camp after having educated and the guy failed to show them any record about his medical degree.

He was subsequently detained, police said.

Several fake doctors were arrested from different parts of West Bengal in May and June this year, along with the CID had stated at the point that it had recognized a great number of bogus doctors practising in private and government hospitals in the nation.

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Trump’s Doctor Ronny Jackson Might Have Engaged in Misconduct Involving Mike Pence’s Wife’s Medical Care: CNN

Jackson faces even more accusations of misconduct even following his nomination for secretary of Veterans Affairs has been awakened. Vice President Mike Pence’s doctor alerted White House officials a year ago that Ronny Jackson, Donald Trump’s physician, “inappropriately intervened in a medical situation” involving Karen Pence. As CNN reports, Jackson also intimidated Pence’s doctor in a confrontation regarding his overstep.This story is developing…

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