When most people are asked about proper medical assistant training, they think about the hands-on duties — the clerical duties, the basic medical tasks — but there’s another, less apparent aspect of the job for which medical assistants require adequate education: ethics.
Behold exhibits A and B and C illustrating the importance of medical ethics training, each occurring just within the past few months:
In Lufkin, Texas, 43-year-old Rebecca Batson (pictured) allegedly used her position as a medical assistant at Dr. Carlton J. Lewis’ clinic to forge drug prescriptions for herself under his name. From 2011 to 2012, there were reportedly “an overwhelming amount of incidences” in which Batson picked up prescriptions for Hydrocodone, Xanax, Ambien and Clonazepam supposedly authorized by Lewis.
When Lewis found out in the spring of 2012, he fired her, but it took until just recently for the authorities to build a case to arrest and charge her with fraudulent possession of a controlled substance or prescription, a third-degree felony. She was released on $5,000 bail and is awaiting trial.
But she isn’t alone! There are a few other examples of medical assistants who seemed to have lost their way lately…
- In Orlando, Florida, medical assistant Selina Rodriguez was arrested for accessing patients’ records at Mid-Florida Urological Associates and using their information to fraudulently obtain more than $100,000 in insurance payments. In most instances, the patients were children, and Rodriguez pretended to the their mother while filing insurance claims for their injuries and illnesses. Authorities uncovered her deceit when they found patient files in her car while investigating her for a separate offense. Rodriguez is set to begin a series of four separate trials for her alleged crimes in April. Needless to say, she was fired from her job.
- In Fort Lee, New Jersey, 29-year-old Gung “Dan” Kim, a medical assistant at both the Edison Kidney Center and the the SBK Medical Group, was arrested for allegedly making inappropriate sexual contact with two female patients. The first instance occurred when Kim was alone with the patient during a physical exam, while the second occurred when Kim performed a procedure the patient didn’t even request. Kim was released on $50,000 bail.
While proper medical assistant training can’t prevent such instances from happening, courses in medical ethics can help instill the importance of good judgment and putting the patient first, taking into account all applicable medical, legal, religious and social considerations.
(Sources: KTRE.com, WFTV.com, NorthJersey.com)