Dix Hills Doctor's Office Raided by Nassau County DAMar 13, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP The Nassau County district attorney's office raided Dr. Harvey Finkelstein's office on Wednesday, a sign that the investigation into the medical malpractice committed by the Long Island doctor is taking on new dimensions. Finkelstein is the Dix Hills doctor who exposed thousands of his patients to blood-borne pathogen infections such as hepatitis B and C and HIV/AIDS due to his shoddy injection practices. The raid was part of a probe into whether Finkelstein caused two cases—not one—of hepatitis C.
State health authorities had believed there was one case of hepatitis C linked to Finkelstein. Investigators seized medical records and a computer hard drive from Finkelstein's Plainview medical office and are considering whether they can bring felony charges against the physician which could include second-degree assault for causing the infections, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument, and for changing or withholding records from the state Department of Health. Finkelstein has not been charged.
The search warrant made comprehensive demands for business and medical records and asked for specific patient charts for three hepatitis C patients who received pain injections on July 15, 2004. The first of those patients was Steve Corrado, 53, a Florida man who says he has had hepatitis C for nearly a decade. Corrado’s medical records confirm Finkelstein knew of Corrado's diagnosis as far back as 1999. Two patients who received injections following Corrado - Raymond Bookstaver of Hicksville and a 66-year-old unnamed Syosset man - say they developed hepatitis C following treatment from Finkelstein. The three men's disease strains share the same genotype of 1B; however, the diseases have not yet been genetically linked.
The Health Department did not learn of Corrado's records until November when it concluded the hepatitis passed from Bookstaver to the Syosset man. That conclusion was incorrect, according to an attorney representing Bookstaver and Corrado who said, "To me, Steve Corrado is the known hepatitis C patient who saw Finkelstein that day and was potentially the first link in the chain of contamination." The state Department of Health is also reviewing Corrado's medical records and told the DA’s office about him, said spokeswoman Claudia Hutton.
Health authorities said they were frustrated by what they believed was Finkelstein's reluctance to turn over records and expanded the investigation to include over 10,000 patients. Corrado, now on disability, said he began receiving injections from Finkelstein in the mid-1990s after a work injury left him with debilitating back pain. In 1999, Corrado said he became ill, was diagnosed with hepatitis C, and immediately called Finkelstein, with whom he had become close. "He told me it was probably all of the tattoos I got in the '70s," Corrado said. In a July 20, 1999, medical document, Finkelstein notes Corrado's diagnosis: "Hep C x 20 years." Five years later, on July 15, 2004, in a procedure that ended at noon, Finkelstein injected Corrado with medications and dyes. About 35 minutes later, Bookstaver was injected with the same four medications: Triamcinolone, a steroid; lidocaine, and bupivacaine, both local anesthetics; and ketorolac, an anti-inflammatory drug. The Syosset man was injected with the same combination at 1 p.m.
Finkelstein’s treatment practices came under scrutiny after it was found that Finkelstein was reusing syringes on multiple patients.