Welcome to Florida: Rick Scott Woos Cancer Treatment Business Accused of "Quackery"
We don't know how that flurry of activity relates to the fact that, also in December, Bisconti sued CTCA right back. According to the Chicago Sun-Times:
A former spokeswoman for Cancer Treatment Centers of America is suing the corporation, saying it uses false advertising to make huge "profits at the expense of many desperate patients and their families."
Rockford resident Lynette Bisconti represents herself in the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, which seeks $500 million from the company to be donated to charities of her choice, and more than $75,000 for herself.
Bisconti claims that, contrary to the organization's publications, as an insider she discovered CTCA "cherry-picks" well-insured, late-stage cancer patients while rejecting 90 percent of patients; and incentivizes physicians to provide costly, unnecessary treatments in terminal cases.
The suit also alleges CTCA founder and chairman Richard Stephenson and his family illegally funneled millions of dollars to a conservative super PAC and other "shell companies" to dodge taxes...
[CTCA] representatives denied Bisconti's claims in a written statement.
"While it is not the policy at Cancer Treatment Centers of America to comment on legal matters, in this instance we feel compelled to state that the allegations in this filing are without merit," the statement said.
"We are at a loss to understand why Ms. Bisconti, a former valued member of the CTCA leadership team, would make such accusations," the statement said.
Bisconti, 50, is a breast cancer survivor who was treated at a CTCA hospital in 1998 and then volunteered for 15 years as a spokeswoman while undergoing further treatment. She appeared in commercials, marketing publications and on national television on behalf of the organization, the suit says.
In 2008 she began working for the company as president of Gateway for Cancer Research, one of CTCA's non-profit affiliates, according to the suit.
As an employee, Bisconti says she became "increasingly concerned about CTCA's moral and ethical obligations to cancer patients" and the organization's "unstable and unethical business model."
Bisconti claims executives placed her on administrative leave in September 2012 when she approached Stephenson with her concerns about "legal and ethical issues."
She claims she was fired in December 2012 after rejecting a cash payout from CTCA executives "to keep saying nice things" about the organization.
When she informed them she would report the issues to federal authorities, she says she was threatened and intimidated, according to the suit. Bisconti also claims she was repeatedly sexually harassed by her CTCA physician and several executives.
Weirdly, within one week of Bisconti's filing suit, she and CTCA settled the case and placed Bisconti's complaint and accompanying exhibits undcr seal, unavailable to public review. One can only speculate...
Bottom line, though: Who cares? CTCA's arrival may mean a few more jobs for job-starved Florida and some additional tax revenues for the City of Boca Raton. Best of all, though, it's another talking point for Rick Scott's reelection campaign, no matter how questionable some cancer patients' care may be.
Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.