Another guilty plea in Cleveland Clinic spinout fraud case

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Another participant in an alleged scheme to defraud the Cleveland Clinic out of approximately $2.7 million has come forward with a guilty plea, according to a Cleveland.com report.

Wisam Rizk, former chief tech officer of Cleveland Clinic Innovations’ spun-out Interactive Visual Health Records, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements, according to the report.

Rizk admitted involvement in a scheme to defraud the Cleveland Clinic by having IVHR contract with a shell company for work that the company did not provide. Instead, a company out of the country provided the contracted work for much less than the contract with the shell company, with Rizk picking up the difference, according to the Cleveland.com report.

In the scheme, Rizk worked with former Cleveland Clinic Innovations exec Gary Fingerhut, who pleaded guilty last October.

Rizk and others created the shell company iStarFZE and attempted to make it look legitimate so it could put in a bid to the clinic looking to develop IVHR’s software. After the company won the contract, Rizk paid Fingerhut more than $460,000 in exchange for keeping the deal quiet, according to the report.

A sentencing range for Rizk has not yet been agreed upon, but will be determined by U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko on March 13, according to the Cleveland.com report. Rizk could face more than five years in federal prison and could be on the hook for as much as $2.7 million, though will likely argue that he should pay much less.

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The top 10 medical disruptors of 2019

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The Cleveland Clinic for the past 16 years has predicted what the top 10 medical disruptors will be for the following year.

The health provider seeks input from 150 to 200 of its physicians, hailing from each of its institutes. The result is 300 to 400 suggestions, which the clinic then narrows down to 150.

After that, 20 physicians meet and vote the list down to the top 10. The criteria to be considered a disruptor is that it has to be so innovative that it could change healthcare in a significant way in the next year.

The Cleveland Clinic announced this year’s top 10 list at its Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit, which took place Oct. 22-24 in Cleveland. From RNA-based therapies to alternative pain therapy to fight the opioid crisis, here are the Cleveland Clinic’s predictions of medical technologies that will prove disruptive in 2019.

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Value-based care: CMS’s new administrator wants more of it

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Seema Verma, CMS’s administrator

Seven months into her tenure, CMS administrator Seema Verma is turning out to be highly supportive of value-based care models. In fact, she recently told an audience in Cleveland that she wants them implemented faster.

The situation appears to dispel doubts that alternative payment models – such as Accountable Care Organizations or “comprehensive care” models for such big-ticket items as joint replacements – would remain a priority under President Donald Trump’s administration. The move toward paying for “value” versus the old fee-for-service models are a big deal for the medical device industry, which have been shifting their strategies and focus in response.

Alternative payment methods are important for driving innovation and driving value and cost-effective care, Verma said during an appearance at the annual Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit, which took place Oct. 23–25 in Cleveland. Different models will help drive the market toward value and quality and away from a fee-for-service system, according to Verma, who shared the stage with Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove.

Get the full story on our sister site, Medical Design & Outsourcing.

The top 10 medical disruptors of 2018

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medical-disruptors

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Each year the Cleveland Clinic determines what the top 10 disruptors in healthcare will be for the following year. The criteria to be considered a disruptor or innovation is that it has to be innovative and could change care in a significant way in the next year.

Approximately 150 to 200 Cleveland Clinic physicians from each of the institutes are interviewed for their suggestions of the top 10 innovations they think will be a disruptor. Venture capitalists and members of the media also get surveyed to consider the top innovation of the next year. From the large list, 300 to 400 suggestions are narrowed down to 150. After that, 20 physicians meet and vote the lists down to the top 10. The results are the Cleveland Clinic’s top 10 medical innovations of 2018.

The top 10 medical innovations of 2018 were announced at this year’s Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit that took place Oct. 23-25 in Cleveland. From chemotherapy-related hair loss prevention to the closed-loop insulin delivery system, here are the top 10 predicted medical disruptors of 2018.

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Ex-Cleveland Clinic spin-out CTO charged in $3m fraud case

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gavelThe former chief technology officer from Cleveland Clinic spun-out Interactive Visual Health Records has been arrested and indicted on charges that he defrauded the Clinic out of approximately $2.8 million, according to a Cleveland.com report.

Former CTO Wisam Rizk faces a total of 29 charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud and honest services wire fraud and obstruction of justice, according to the report.

Prosecutors claim that Rizk was involved in a scheme to defraud the Cleveland Clinic through a contract IVHR had with a shell company, intending to get paid for services it did not actually provide, Cleveland.com reports.

The contracted services were provided by a separate company located outside the US and was paid less than the agreed upon price, with Rizk holding onto the difference, according to the report.

Rizk was reportedly hired by former Cleveland Clinic Innovations head Gary Fingerhut, who earlier this month plead guilty to charges that he helped defraud the Clinic to the tune of approximately $2.7 million.

The former CTO helped found a shell company, which submitted a bid to the clinic to help develop IVHR’s software and increased the price the Clinic paid for the development, according to the report. Rizk then paid Fingerhut nearly $500,000 in fees to keep him silent on the scheme.

Rizk has plead not guilty to the charges and has told the FBI he was not involved with the scheme, according to Cleveland.com.