Attorney claims Phoebe Putney is diverting blame - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Attorney claims Phoebe Putney is diverting blame

June 16, 2005

Albany - The lawyer for a man suing Phoebe Putney says hospital executives falsely blamed his client and Dr. John Bagnato for stirring up problems surrounding Phoebe's off-shore accounts. Ralph Scoccimaro represents Dr. Bagnato's office manager Charles Rehberg, as well as several people suing Phoebe for overcharging the uninsured.

Wednesday, the hospital defended itself against allegations administrators say were made by Bagnato that $1.5-million was missing from Phoebe's Cayman Island Insurance Company. Bagnato said when he learned about a possible discrepancy, he merely alerted the President of the Medical Association. Scoccimaro says even though Phoebe didn't directly blame Rehberg for these claims, everyone lumps Bagnato and Rehberg together.

"Their strategy and tactic is to divert attention and public scrutiny from real issues," said Scoccimaro. "The real issues are the overpricing of uninsured, the price-gouging of the uninsured, and the abuse that have taken place in terms of spending excesses. Those will come to light."

Scoccimaro claims Phoebe executives hide huge and unnecessary expenses, while overcharging insured patients. The hospital dropped a defamation suit against Rehberg who sent out Phoebe Factoids, faxes critical of Phoebe. Rehberg's counter-suit against Phoebe is still active.

posted at 4:03PM by news@walb.com

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