The Marietta Daily Journal, April 6, 2011
The former president of WellStar Medical Group believes he was fired to prevent him from going public with alleged billing and revenue improprieties by some WellStar physicians. The health system's attorney denies the allegation. WellStar Health System Interim CEO Jim Budzinski terminated Richard Lopes, MD, on March 21 without cause. WellStar claimed in a press release that Lopes had resigned. Not true, Lopes said in a March 24 letter to Budzinski. Lopes said a long history of multiple billing entities, multiple billing systems, physician office-based billing outside the central business office, and in some cases an inability to easily review important operational and compliance information within the practices had "created an environment within the medical practices that rewards poorly delivered, often inappropriate care without regard to system standards or compliance guidelines."