Some patients may miss the days when doctors would make house calls. Instead, many patients with mobility issues have to find a way to the doctor's office, often waiting hours before they can be seen and return home. However, one doctor in Illinois may have been using house calls to take advantage of vulnerable patients. He is now accused of medical malpractice, Medicaid fraud, and sexual assault.
Dr. Charles S. Dehaan spent a lot of time making house calls to patients. A large part of his practice involved visiting older patients at home or in nursing facilities across northern Illinois. Dehaan billed Medicaid almost $22 million for the work he did between 2009 and 2014. However, he is now facing 23 counts of federal Medicaid fraud for work he did not do.
Dehaan eventually made a deal with prosecutors. In exchange for dropping most of the charges, he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud. Dehaan faces up to ten years in federal prison for Medicaid fraud. In one case, he billed for a visit to a man who says he never saw Dehaan. In the other case, Dehaan billed for a visit to a patient who had already been dead for months.
The fraud charges may be the least of Dehaan's worries, as he now stands accused of multiple cases of sexual assault and medical malpractice. Dehaan has been charged with assaulting at least four female patients in two counties. In one case, Dehaan is charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a 60-year-old woman who was bedridden over the course of four years. He is also charged with sexually assaulting an 80-year-old woman in a wheelchair.
According to Dehaan's lawyer, he denies the sexual assault charges. However, in addition to the criminal assault charges, Dehaan faces multiple civil lawsuits by former patients accusing him of assault and medical malpractice.
Another former patient and current plaintiff call him a predator. Judith Kohl, 57, is homebound. Dehaan came to see her in 2013 to help her get a motorized wheelchair. She says he said she was beautiful and began touching her. “The next thing, he's whipping his privates out and rubbing them all over my arms, my hands,” said Kohl.
Other former patients have made similar accusations. Dehaan begins with compliments which are followed by groping. A 69-year-old woman said Dehaan squeezed and groped her breasts and buttocks, saying he wanted to make sure they'd fit in the wheelchair.
The complaints against Dehaan began as far back as 2009, but nothing was done until after a citizen complaint came in in 2013. During that time, 10 police reports were filed with Rockford police relating to claims of sexual assault by Dehaan. In January 2014, the Department of Professional Regulation temporarily suspended his license.
If you or a loved one has been assaulted or injured by a medical professional, the Gilman & Bedigian team is here to help. We are fully equipped to handle the complex process of filing a malpractice claim. Our staff, including a physician and attorneys with decades of malpractice litigation experience, will focus on getting you compensated, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.