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06.11.2019

WHISTLEBLOWERS EXPOSE MIDWIVES OVERSEEING HIGH-RISK PREGNANCIES AND A SCAM INVOLVING ILLEGAL KICKBACKS AT A MORTUARY, ON “WHISTLEBLOWER,” FRIDAY, JUNE 14

Doctors vs Midwives: Danergous Deliveries” – Host Alex Ferrer investigates dangerous insurance fraud at an Indiana hospital, uncovered when Dr. Judy Robinson, an OB/GYN, began working as the Director of Women’s Services at Healthnet.

Robinson was shocked at the number of high-risk pregnancies that resulted in near-misses and poor outcomes for both mothers and newborns in low-income communities. As she looked into the problem further, she concluded that midwives had been placed in charge of high-risk pregnancies without being properly supervised by OBGYN physicians, a violation of Indiana Medicaid rules.

Although Dr. Robinson worked alongside other doctors in the practice to try to implement policy changes that would ensure that high-risk pregnancies received proper supervision by qualified physicians, she says her efforts were continually stymied by hospital administrators. Eventually, Dr. Robinson came to realize that the practice was motivated by greed, staffing the clinics primarily with lower paid midwives, yet billing Medicaid as if physicians were the ones supervising the high-risk cases. Believing patients’ lives and their unborn babies’ were at risk due to the fraud, Dr. Robinson decided to blow the whistle.

In the episode’s second story: “Cremation, Kickbacks and Corruption: The Case Against Abanks Mortuary” Barry Taul, a funeral home director turned embalmer, uncovers a kickback scheme that was costing taxpayers more than two million dollars. Taul knows some people may think it’s creepy, but ever since the 8th grade he wanted to be a funeral director. While working as an embalmer at Abanks Mortuary & Crematory in Birmingham, Ala. he overheard his boss, Jed Nagel, having a conversation with two directors of one of his clients, the federally funded Alabama Organ Center. It was a conversation he was not supposed to hear, with Nagel telling the Organ Center directors, “Look, if you want more money, you’re going to have to start padding these bills better.”

What followed was an escalating series of threats and professional blackballing from Nagel. His boss threatened to cremate him alive and make his life hell – Taul believes, all in an effort to intimidate him into keeping his mouth shut.

Out of options and fearful for his family’s safety, Taul filed a whistleblower lawsuit.

WHISTLEBLOWER, Friday, June 14(8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

WHISTLEBLOWER is produced by CBS News Productions and CBS Television Studios. Alex Ferrer is the host. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer. Anthony Batson, Alex Ferrer and Ted Eccles are the executive producers. Peter Bull is the senior producer. Alicia Tejada is the senior coordinating producer. Magalie Laguerre and Caroline Sommers are the producers. Dani Levy and Mirella Brussani are the associate producers. Marcus Balsam, Libby Fabricatore, Maria Barrow and Greg Socher are the editors.

CHEAT TWEET: Whistleblowers expose dangerous OBGYN practices at healthcare facilities and fraud at a mortuary on a new #Whistleblower 6/14 8pm #CBS http://bit.ly/2R6CiT3

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Steven Feldman

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Steven.Feldman2@cbs.com

Richard Huff

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