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September 17, 2014
California DWC Posts Adjustments to Official Medical Fee Schedule (DMEPOS)

September 17, 2014
California Division of Workers' Compensation Posts Updated Physician Fee Schedule FAQs Regarding Physician-Dispensed Durable Medical Equipment

September 15, 2014
Landmark Medical Defendants Plead Not-Guilty In Orange County. Southern California Radio Station KPCC Publishes FBI Recordings.

September 13, 2014
Sim Hoffman, M.D.'s Lawyers Filing Demurrer In Orange County Superior Court; arraignment on this $18 million workers' comp fraud case continued to November 7th 2014.



Where's Munir? Part Two. Workers' Compensation Treating Doctor Wanted For Questioning About The Murder Of Juliana Redding Must Be Somewhere.
By Larry Kennedy - July 12, 2010

Over two weeks ago, Dr. Munir Uwaydah, an orthopedic surgeon and workers' compensation treating doctor, on the panels and networks of many insurance companies and third-party-administrators, fled the country from Southern California after being wanted for questioning about the murder of Juliana Redding in Santa Monica, California, in 2008. 

Munir Marwan Uwaydah, M.D., many steps ahead of what investigative might the United States can muster, is actually a U.S. citizen born in April 1966 in Boston, Massachusetts.  In 1966 his father, Marwan Mounir Uwaydah, M.D., was finishing post-doctoral training at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  He would soon return with wife Farihan and young family to The American University Medical School in Beirut, Lebanon, where he would distinguish himself for decades as an award winning professor of virology and bacteriology.

As the son of a Lebanese born in the Middle East, son Munir Marwan Uwaydah, M.D. holds two passports and dual citizenship.  Dressed in the traditional Arab white robe and red headdress, he would be virtually camouflaged at any Middle Eastern international border crossing station.  That given with his habit of disappearing whenever a camera is present; well, you grasp the problem faced by U.S. law enforcement.

While Professor Marwan Mounir Uwaydah, wife Fairhan and daughters Sabah and Raina returned to Beirut, Lebanon, to stay, son Munir Marwan Uwaydah, M.D., (we can guess he took the o out of his first name) immediately returned to the United States following graduation from medical school in 1991.

The father doubtless recalled Beirut as the “Paris of the Middle East” prior to the wars between Israel, Syria and Egypt.  Following the kidnapping and videotaped torture murder of the U.S. CIA Station Chief William Francis Buckley in 1985, Lebanon would never be the same. Nonetheless, Professor Uwaydah stayed put, working to purify local water treatment plants and “do good” as Hippocrates said.

Unlike the father, the son chose a swashbuckling residency in orthopedics.  His various residencies have been previously discussed, and also mentioned in passing were the concurrent legal problems which seemed to follow him around like a small but growing storm cloud.

First came the million dollar disappearance of the CAT scanner from General Electric Medical Imaging (GEMS) in 2001, followed by several years of litigation in a federal district court in Van Wert, Ohio.  On January 14, 2003, in a Los Angeles U.S. Bankruptcy Court, he filed for Chapter Seven protection.  However, the bankruptcy court, noting his several non-appearances and discovery refusals in Van Wert, ruled that debt “nondischargeable”. 

By April 8, 2003, he was again embroiled in other civil litigation near Stanford, California.  In the County of Santa Clara Superior Court case #CV795916, Munir Uwaydah, M.D. filed a “defamation” lawsuit against two physicians, James Zuckerman, M.D. and Eugene Carragee, M.D.

Exactly what these doctors said to anger Munir Uwaydah remains unknown, as this action was stopped by the 2003 bankruptcy filing. Neither Dr. Zuckerman nor Dr. Caragee would respond to requests for an interview, but it is noted that Munir Uwaydah, M.D. did not further complete or pursue his plastic surgery residency at Stanford Hospital.

Munir Uwaydah, M.D., also filed a “professional negligence” civil lawsuit against Michael Ackerman, M.D., in the Santa Clara Superior Court case #1-04-CV-013012, which was also dropped.

Around this same timeframe, Munir Uwaydah had moved to Southern California, where he formed Frontline Medical Associates in San Fernando, Oxnard, and several other locales.  While he was once licensed in five other states, he allowed his Pennsylvania and Michigan licenses to lapse.  In Michigan, he was licensed both as a medical doctor and to operate an in-office pharmacy.

Frontline Medical Associates also dispensed pharmaceuticals, including the controversial “compounded” drugs which were not subject to any fee schedule.  Munir Uwaydah’s posted website resume lists no fewer than twelve hospital affiliations, including Tustin Medical Center, Tustin, California.

Like all other applicant clinics though, April 19, 2004 was a watershed date with the adoption by California of SB 899.  Mandating ACOEM Guidelines and Utilization Review, this law had to have a deleterious impact on Frontline, who reportedly began to do more and more lien work.

It was at Tustin Medical Center that Munir Uwaydah was accused by the Medical Board of the State of California of allowing a physician’s assistant to start surgeries in his absence.  The first allegation was alleged to have occurred on March 12, 2005, with several other instances following.  Two patients were identified by the medical board as Santos Hernandez and Jesse Florez, Jr., workers compensation patients whose claims were the responsibility of State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF).

In 2006, Munir Uwaydah, M.D. “heard” from an ex-employee named Shannon Moore, that a private investigator named Greg Frost of Martin Frost Investigations, had approached her on behalf of SCIF.  Reportedly Martin Frost Investigations had received an assignment to do a background investigation on Frontline Medical Associates and Munir Uwaydah, M.D. thru SCIF attorney Bruce Roth.

Like he did to Drs. Zuckerman and Carragee, Munir Uwaydah would soon institute a civil proceeding against SCIF and attorney Bruce Roth, alleging they had conspired to deprive him of several million dollars in medical liens.  Around the same timeframe, Berkshire Hathaway Insurance also began to withhold several million dollars in medical liens and reportedly instituted similar investigations.

A million here, a few million there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.  Can’t tender “green liens” for groceries at the supermarket, you know?

On September 19, 2009, Dr. Munir Uwaydah obtained a temporary “stay” pending an administrative trial on July 19, 2010 to take away his medical license. This will not be the mother of all administrative trials as he’s disappeared.

Munir Uwaydah also lost the civil suit against SCIF and Bruce Roth and was ordered to pay their costs and attorney fees.  Whether he ever did so is not known.

To be continued July 13, 2010.

Link back to Part I: http://www.adjustercom.com/modules.php?mop=modload&name=News&func=article_view&adj_article_id=1323&wherefrom=archive

Link to Part III: http://www.adjustercom.com/modules.php?mop=modload&name=News&func=article_view&adj_article_id=1326&wherefrom=archive

Larry Kennedy is the nom-de-plume of a defense hearing representative who is also an investigative freelance journalist.

 
 

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