Who says a background in English literature has no practical value? Certainly not the attorneys defending Dimensions Health in a class action filed on behalf of patients treated by an OB/GYN on the Dimensions medical staff. Their Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss prominently invokes one of the Bard’s most famous lines.
There’s no denying that “Dr. Akoda” is a fraud in many respects. For one thing, his name is Igberase, not Akoda. In 1991, 1995, and 1998 he obtained Social Security numbers by using fake names and identifying information. In 2012 CMS denied his application for Medicare enrollment because he used a fake Social Security number.
In 2016 he pleaded guilty to using someone else’s Social Security number to secure his Maryland medical license. He also admitted to using multiple false names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers over the years to apply for federal educational loans for his children, gain Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates approval, enter a residency program, and practice medicine.
“Dr. Akoda” secured OB/GYN privileges at Dimensions in 2012 and practiced there until 2016. The complaint against Dimensions relies primarily on the theory of negligent credentialing: Dimensions should have known that “Dr. Akoda” was a fraud.
Faced with “Akoda’s” long history of fraud, is Dimensions conceding negligence? Not on your life. Dimensions notes that the man did, in fact, hold a medical license to perform the services the plaintiffs complain of. So what difference does it make whether his name is Akoda or Igberase?
This is where Shakespeare on Medical Staff Credentialing comes in. Dimensions argues,
As Shakespeare wrote over 400 years ago, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” Whether the patients knew him as “Akoda” or “Igberase,” both names denote the exact same person, and that person was a licensed physician ….
The case is Russell v. Dimensions Health, Case No. 8:17-cv-03106-TDC (D. Md.).