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Spotlight On Dr. Jacquelyne Holdcraft


Photograph of Dr. Jacquelyne Holdcraft, Bruce Gebhardt, and Tom TierneyIt's every patient's worst nightmare: that an unscrupulous doctor will prescribe unnecessary surgery... perform it badly or not at all... and charge through the nose for it.

This kind of misconduct is difficult to identify and nearly impossible to prove. Why? Because medical diagnoses and procedures are so complex that it often takes a doctor to recognize medical fraud -- and doctors don't have the time or training to ferret it out themselves.

But not Dr. Holdcraft. When she saw something wrong, she made it her business to do something about it.

On September 13, the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI honored Dr. Holdcraft for her extraordinary service in exposing medical fraud by presenting her with the Lou Peters Award, which it annually bestows to a person who selflessly dedicates time and service to assist the FBI in uncovering wrongdoing.

What did Dr. Holdcraft do?

She identified acts of medical fraud by another ENT specialist in her hometown of Kansas City and, in 1996, reported him to local U.S. Attorney. And that was just the start.

From 1996 to 2001, she spent hundreds of hours with investigators, then with prosecutors. Why? To help them understand medical terminology and procedures and also billing codes. To review medical records, including office records, hospital records, x-rays, and MRI scans. In one case, she spent weeks over 150 sinus and mastoid surgeries performed by the doctor in 1999, which yielded overwhelming evidence that over 90% of the mastoid surgeries were unnecessary and over 50% of the sinus surgeries were unnecessary or billed incorrectly. Then Dr. Holdcraft testified for the government in two long trials. In December 2001, the doctor on trial was convicted of 33 counts of health care fraud, seven counts of mail fraud, and three counts of perjury--and in May 2002, he was sentenced to 6 years of prison. His license to practice has also been revoked.

The FBI joins the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI in hailing the extraordinary public service of Dr. Holdcraft. She stopped an unscrupulous man -- and, in the end, ensured that he would never prey on unsuspecting patients again. Congratulations, Dr. Holdcraft -- and thank you.