Friday, September 04, 2009

Toledo, Take Two

The Imaging Advantage mess continues in Toledo, and the nasty back-and-forth on Aunt Minnie progresses non-stop on multiple threads, including THIS one as well as THIS one. The frenzy has not quite reached the low that punctuated the original thread, with an apparent IA insider calling himself dmarkupMD suggesting that I go visit the Gulags of Russia and experience, well, prisoner comeraderie, for lack of a more genteel term. Dear Dr. Markup was subsequently banned from Aunt Minnie, and the incredible hulk of a thread was closed.

A new IA supporter (a term loosely related to "athletic supporter") named HEGEMONRAD has appeared, again defending the "new paradigm" of the IA model, and claiming no responsibility for the displacement of the old group, CRC. As with the old thread, several other personas have appeared, all clearly authored by the same rogue, someone whose speech and spelling patterns suggest a non-native-English-speaker. The theme is always the same, although the last few posts have approached libel, suggesting that CRC paid techs and others to post negative material about IA. And, for the past several days, HEGEMONRAD has played a cat and mouse game with the "Anti-IA Camp," actually suggesting a meeting in Toledo with the "permanent" radiologists to clear the air. However, when a number of people responded positively to the RSVP, HEGEMONRAD demurred, throwing up restrictions, roadblocks, and other stalling tactics, making it rather clear that no meeting is intended.

In the meantime, other posters, including old CRC members and others identifying themselves as be within the MHP hospital system, have painted a very ugly picture of what is happening at Mercy, and this is also mentioned by those with connections on the ground there in Toledo. I won't quote directly, but suffice it to say that at the very least, patients are being inconvenienced.

HEGEMONRAD, dmarkupMD, and the host of other characters supporting IA don't really respond to any of this beyond creating personal attacks, aimed mostly at Spartandoc, the head of CRC. Which leads me to consider the following possibilities as to who HEDGEHOG, I mean HEGEMONRAD really is:

  1. He is simply a troll, typing with one hand and doing nothing more than causing trouble. Possible. However, he seems to have too much inside knowledge, and too much vitriol to be playing with us, and he has been at it for far longer than you would expect from a teen-aged deliquent.
  2. He is a member of another group in Toledo, and carries a grudge against CRC. I have discussed this possibility with CRC members, and there seems to be no one in the rather small Toledo radiologic community who would fit that description.
  3. He is a member of the MHP administration, and is trying to cover up a really, really bad decision, to dump CRC and go with IA. Possible.
  4. He is a member of the management team for IA, possibly even Naseer Hashim himself.

Mr. Hashim, the CEO of Imaging Advantage, has a fascinating past. His bio on the Imaging Advantage website notes these accomplishments among others:

In 2002, Mr. Hashim founded Legal Advantage Services, Inc., a legal outsourcing company, which grew to over 1000 clients representative of the top intellectual property law firms in the world.

Prior to this, Mr. Hashim served as legal and strategic head for Pleiades Group Limited, where he designed complex business and political alliances between the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM), the United States Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse, Raytheon, the AFL CIO and arranged a $2 Billion debt facility with Banque Paribas. All part of a $16 billion global transaction involving the blending down of nuclear weapons into peaceful fuel.

Good stuff. For some reason, Mr. Hashim's career as a screenwriter wasn't included, but the online version of Life Magazine, a publically-available website, has captured this part of his fame:

The caption reads:

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 2: (U.S. TABLOIDS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) (L-R) Publicist Payal Chaudhri, Producer Naresh Sahni, screenwriter Naseer Hashim and agent Elaine Rogers attend the Georgette Mosbacher's and Harvey Weinstein's bipartisan election night party at The Palm Restaurant November 2, 2004 in New York City.

In this photo: Payal Chaudhri, Naresh Sahni, Naseer Hashim, Elaine Rogers

Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images, Nov 02, 2004

Let's think about what screenwriters do. They write or adapt stories for the big screen, creating and animating characters. . . Sound familiar? Now, I may be adding two and two and getting five, but hypotheticallly speaking, it seems like a screenwriter, with a lot to gain from doing so, might just be interested in bombarding a web forum with many different personas, trying to change peoples' minds about something near and dear to him. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Frankly, I am sick of HEDGEHOG and all his personas, whether he is truly Mr. Hashim or a sick teenager posting from his mother's basement. I would have thought Aunt Minnie would get rid of him, but I'm assuming that they won't in the interest of fairness. So be it. But I would suggest that NO ONE respond to this fellow anymore, except perhaps through an attorney when he commits slander.

I can't personally get to Toledo for the Big Meeting, and I'll wager it won't actually happen anyway. But something does need to be done here, with the rumours of suboptimal patient care lurking in the background. I would urge those with direct, first hand information to send it to the Toledo Blade, The Wall Street Journal, and even to 60 Minutes, Dateline, and 20/20, and certainly to the Ohio Medical Board. If the allegations are false, I'll be glad to report that too, right here with crow enough to go around. The patients HAVE to come first in any health-care situation. I don't have first hand knowledge of what's happening on the ground, as I am not in Toledo, but word from aquaintances as well as the postings on Aunt Minnie doesn't make me very sanguine about the situation.

Medicine is not a business like any other, and attempts to insinuate middlemen between doctor and patient for the express purpose of siphoning revenue will certainly NOT help the patients. That is as unacceptable as it gets. Frankly, I think it's time for IA and MHP to post a comment on their websites about all this. I would truly like to know that their main interest is indeed the patients.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

> send it to the Toledo Blade, The Wall Street Journal, and even to 60 Minutes, Dateline, and 20/20

Why just the old fashioned news?
Maybe its time to take to facebook. A surprising number of radiologists still don't know this is going on...
Motivated trolls are hard to fight on AM, but I don't think they can survive in an environment that requires reputation such as facebook.