About Holly Hosford-Dunn

Holly Hosford-Dunn, PhD, graduated with a BA and MA in Communication Disorders from New Mexico State, completed a PhD in Hearing Sciences at Stanford, and did post-docs at Max Planck Institute (Germany) and Eaton-Peabody Auditory Physiology Lab (Boston). Post-education, she directed the Stanford University Audiology Clinic; developed multi-office private practices in Arizona; authored/edited numerous text books, chapters, journals, and articles; and taught Marketing, Practice Management, Hearing Science, Auditory Electrophysiology, and Amplification in a variety of academic settings.


  1. But what about stealing from the taxpayers (Medicare/Medicade fraud)?

    Let me give you a crystal clear example: In June 2010, Cochlear Americas “settled” with the DOJ by paying an $880,000 fine over their paying kickbacks to CI center staff through CA’s unlawful “Partners Program.”

    It took former CFO Brenda March filing a qui tam action against Cochlear for violating the Anti-Kickback Act and the False Claims Act to end their “frequent flier” program.

    Interestingly, unlike America with the strict FCPA laws, Australian laws and governmental policies actually encourage the paying of foreign bribes, as they are allowed to be deducted on their corporate taxes as a customary business expense: The acts that would land a CEO in prison here are actually officially sanctioned down under.

    Also, it’s worth noting that Cochlear Americas was prosecuted not for the actual acts of bribery of hearing care professionals — Those went unpunished — but instead only on the fraction of cases involving CI’s purchased for patients who had their hardware paid for by the Government.

    My questions:

    1) What investigation, if any, was performed by AAA &/or ASHA to find out if any Members were involved in this fraud? Did these Ethics Boards even file the necessary Freedom Of Information Act request needed to uncover this potential wrongdoing?

    2) Were any AAA &/or ASHA Members actually disciplined?

    From the DOJ press release dated 9 June 2010:

    United States Settles False Claims Act Allegations with Cochlear Americas for $880,000

    WASHINGTON – Cochlear Americas, a Colorado-based cochlear implant manufacturer, has agreed to pay $880,000 to resolve allegations that it paid illegal remuneration to health care providers to induce purchases of cochlear implant systems, the Justice Department announced today. Cochlear Americas is a subsidiary of an Australian company, Cochlear Limited.

    The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought by a whistleblower, Brenda March, in 2004. The lawsuit, filed in the District of Colorado, alleged that Cochlear Americas violated the Anti-kickback Act and the False Claims Act by paying various forms of illegal remuneration to physicians who prescribed the use of the Cochlear-manufactured devices for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

    The United States intervened in the lawsuit in January 2007, and then shortly thereafter, moved to stay the suit, while the United States pursued an administrative civil monetary penalties investigation against Cochlear. The settlement announced today resolves that administrative matter as well as the lawsuit initiated by the whistleblower.

    “Today’s actions demonstrate that the United States will not tolerate the payment of kickbacks by any entity involved in providing medical goods and services to beneficiaries of federal health care programs,” said Assistant Attorney General Tony West, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

    “This office is determined to protect the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs for the citizens of Colorado and of the United States,” said David Gaouette, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado.

    1. Ah Dan! Always ahead of me. Stay tuned — the post is already written and scheduled for future publication.

  2. An interesting place to start any discussion of ethics is provided by PBS in the Series “Ethics in America”. This series of 10 episodes was started and hosted by Fred Friendly when he was at Columbia, I think. Some really interesting topics and people participated in this series and it is worth the time to stream it from the PBS site.

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