Oregon AG shuts down unlicensed breast cancer detection clinic‏

Nick Rees Apr. 3, 2009, 4:55pm

John Kroger (D)

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - An unlicensed health clinic in Medford, Ore., was shut down by the state attorney general for allegedly endangering women by providing faulty breast cancer detection tests.

Laser and Thermal Imaging Center also went by then name Mountain Top Medical and Therapeutic Laser Centers.

The center is owned by Mary Anne Crandall, her husband, Tom Crandall, and her brother-in-law, Jams Crandall. Mary Ann Crandall also falsely claimed to be licensed as an registered nurse, a chiropractor, a medical doctor and a naturopath.

Under a settlement, Laser and Thermal Imaging Center is required to warn women who received the clinic's thermographic imaging that they should get a mammogram since the clinic's thermography testing was not enough.

"Putting the lives of women at risk is unconscionable," Attorney General John Kroger said. "Given the lethal consequences of delaying detection of such a deadly cancer, I am giving medical impostors fair notice that these types of misrepresentations will not be tolerated."

The clinic's claim that thermography equipment was able to detect the presence of breast cancer from seven to 10 years before other diagnostic procedures, including mammography, has been repudiated in medical studies, the AG's office said in a statement, noting that mammography is the recommended procedure by all medical sources to screen for breast cancer.

Laser and Thermal Imaging Center was also found to have engaged in fraudulent billing practices.

Patients were charged up front for experimental procedures and told that reimbursement payments would be made later despite insurance companies rarely making such payments. Billing codes were also altered sometimes to obtain unwarranted reimbursement from insurers.

A total of $20,000 will be paid by the clinic to cover the restitution. The settlement also requires the Crandall's to close the clinic and never provide thermography or laser services and to never hold themselves out as health care providers unless licensed by the state.

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