Exposing the LASIK Scam

One Surgeon at a Time
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 5:08 am 
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Someone found a copy of Hagele's tax return at http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2 ... 9b42-9.pdf and published the following analysis:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.lasi ... c79?hl=en&
Jake Rivington wrote:
You removed your charitable/educational purpose and that donations are tax deductible.

If you are a 501(c)6, a business or trade organization, how can you possibly be a patient advocacy group? That's a blatent conflict of interest. It looks like the "educational" stuff on your websites (even if correct) is there to lure people into considering to do business with your membership. It has nothing to do with you incorporation status. So you have no educational purpose under the eyes of the Federal Tax Code and your papers of incorporation. Advertising as a patient advocacy group is misleading. You may want to run one, but you cannot advertise that under CRSQA.

Also, with you as the sole paid employee with a hefty salary (I mean, WOW for a NPO), it could be argued that CRSQA does business for your sole benefit--esp. since you publicly state repeatedly that you don't care if anyone choses a CRSQA doctor. That's inurement. What tangible benefit is your org giving then besides your salary? You appear to be in violation of several things, but not for not sending out 990s. You list no officers or trustees on your 990. You are sole officer financing $23,000 worth of travel!!!!!

What are the other expenses on line 43? $53,000? A company porsche
perhaps?


http://groups.google.com/group/alt.lasi ... f38?hl=en&
Jake Rivington wrote:
It's not so much my opinion and characterization, but the legal requirements for a nonprofit. A Board and a minimum of 3 officers is required as a system of checks and balances to ensure that it's not for one individual's benefit and that the officers receive reasonable compensation for their services. Yet there are no other officers or Board members listed on CRSQA's 2004 form 990. Is there an active Board? As a nonprofit, CRSQA has public accountability.


http://groups.google.com/group/alt.lasi ... 5e6?hl=en&
Jake Rivington wrote:
IRS definitions of a 501c6 can be found on pages 48-49 on this irs publication:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p557.pdf

501c6 is a business league that has no educational purpose and cannot offer taxfree donations.

A business league is created to improve business conditions. It is not pro-consumer. To say repeatedly that you don't care if someone choses a CRSQA certified surgeon or not is counter to the function of a business league. What do members get for their fees? Advertising for individual members in return for fees is not evidence of bettering business conditions. That's essentially what CRSQA does by providing a logo for their websites.

Furthermore, no part of the earnings can benefit an individual member. Why all the huge travel expenses of $24,000 for a single person, Glenn Hagele, his high salary (over $70,000 for a nonprofit with an employment base of 1) and what are the mysterious $51,000 of other expenses? That's $150,000 of expenses on 3 lines. 50% of net income pays for Glenn's salary and travel. Another 25% goes to some unnamed other expense.

It's possible that Glenn has all good intentions to educate people on Lasik and other refractive surgery issues, but to say that CRSQA is a patient advocacy group is disengenuous. And to have the misleading information on the USAeyes.org website for years about being an educational/charitable org that accepts tax deductible donations is outright misrepresentation.

Glenn genuinely likes to think of himself as a patient advocate. But he's really an advocate to make Lasik into a better business with more accountability. That's not a bad thing. Ultimately that will benefit the consumer with "better business" practices--but that's not patient advocacy. Patient advocacy doesn't work from the top down. I don't
think Glenn sees the difference.

"consider and choose with confidence"--CRSQA is all about marketing.

Just calling a spade a spade.


http://groups.google.com/group/alt.lasi ... d18?hl=en&
Jake Rivington wrote:
see the statement is attached for line 43, but not broken down. Do you pay the $10,000 in rent to yourself since CRSQA's address is the same as your home address? Do you also deduct that on your personal tax returns schedule C as well? Looks suspiciously like an individual member of CRSQA is benefitting monetarily from "renting" his house to CRSQA. And why is insurance so expensive?$15,000???? Does that insure you personally and parts of your house even when it is not being used as a "business"?

The "Service Accomplishments" state the number of visitors to the website. How does CRSQA justify $10,000 in rent for a web presence plus $4000 in internet fees? What service accomplishment is that for the business league designation from the 501c6 and the income from certification fees? How has CRSQA improved business conditions?

If you are primarily interested in educating the public, you need to change your status to a 501c3 and then the certification fees need to be declared as UBI (Unrelated Business Income) and you need to pay tax on them (UBIT). Your expenses and "accomplishments" are related to the educational purpose of the website. Your organization cannot be both, and you cannot benefit personally. I highly recommend you consult a NPO lawyer ASAP--esp. since you are throwing around accusations onto other
people who have failed to file forms correctly.

Something about glass houses comes to mind....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 2:46 am 
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CRSQA may have some violations as I pointed out, but the USAeyes.org website still has a lot of valuable information on it and provides good guidance for those considering the procedure and those who've had it already and experiencing complications. It appears Glenn wants to be an educational org, and his website is a good resource, but CRSQA's tax exempt status as a 501c6 (business or trade org) makes the first priority to the betterment of the business, not the consumer. The two things (certification and educational website) cannot logically be under a single organizational mission.


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 Post subject: Great point Jake
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 1:35 am 
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Jake- welcome! Was really impressed with your posts on alt.lasik-eyes. You're probably unaware that Glenn Hagele has authored vicious attacks on damaged patients. Some of these attacks are recorded on this site. I agree with you that Glenn should choose - he makes a far more credible LASIK salesman than consumer advocate.


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 Post subject: Re: Great point Jake
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 8:35 pm 
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A Lasik salesman tends to "downplay" the significance of Lasik flap healing and Lasik induced dry eye, and Hagele's site seems to be doing exactly that. See this link for detail. http://www.lasikflap.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=446

I think Hagele is a pro-surgeon, pro-surgery, pro-industry marketer, and the most effective way to find out who and what he favors is to trace his ?source? of income.

Truths are the only things I am interested in. So far I?ve found many good refractive surgery related posts and links here. The posters' backgrounds seem to be quite diverse.


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 Post subject: Cult?
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 9:28 pm 
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Good grief. Read some of the literature on the site, and notice that claims made here are backed up with references. Much of the more sensational material on the site came right out of FDA transcripts.

It's impossible to make the LASIK procedure better and safer it's a bad procedure, and noteable surgeons are abandoning it.

I don't believe for a minute that Glenn Hagele wants to make the LASIK procedure better and safer, I believe he wants to promote it so that he can make money selling his 'certifications'.


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 Post subject: Re: Great point Jake
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 11:59 am 
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Glenn Hagele *says* he monitors outcomes, but does he really??? Do you have any proof that he really monitors outcomes?

I think he's either NOT monitoring outcomes, or he is only monitoring a small sample of good outcomes (surgeon selected), or his surgeons are NOT fully disclosing complications, or his surgeons are just not gathering the all of the information, or some combination of all of the above.

For example, one recent peer-reviewed medical study showed that at six months post-op 41% of patients with superior hinges (most LASIK patients) had dry eye significant enough to register corneal fluorescein staining scores >/=3, and this was in patients with NO signs of dry eye pre-operatively. Yet CRSQA/Hagele asserts that the percentage of unresolved complications at 6 months is only 3%. Does CRSQA think dry eye is not a complication???

Only in the post-RS industry is dry eye downplayed. The rest of the world takes it very seriously.

Night vision problems is another under-reported complication.

An AAO report stated that dry eyes and night vision disturbances occur frequently. I believe patients have a right to be fully informed. If CRSQA is not adequately warning patients, then they are misleading patients.

_________________
Broken Eyes

"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 2:10 pm 
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Clearly Hagele does not monitor outcomes -- he simply does not have time to do so. Anyone who monitors his activities at the alt.lasik-eyes newsgroup can see that he spends all day and night harassing patients and promoting his "certified" surgeons.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 3:28 pm 
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Wizard wrote:
Clearly Hagele does not monitor outcomes -- he simply does not have time to do so.


That's a valid point. CRSQA has how many surgeons? 30? 40? On average they each claim to have performed how many LASIK procedures? 20,000? 30,000? Ball park, I'd say that's around a million LASIK surgeries. Even if he only audited a tenth, Hagele would have to be Santa Claus.

_________________
Bill

"What concerns me is that if the person informing the patient is themselves poorly or inaccurately informed then how on earth can consent ever be truly informed?" Dr. Sarah Smith


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 Post subject: Is it legal for a non-profit to refer a doctor?
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 11:37 pm 
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Is it legal in the state of California for a non-profit to make referrals to doctors... especially since there is a profit incentive for referral to specific doctors?

This sounds suspect to me...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:54 am 
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Jack Holladay supports this bogus non-profit organization that violates IRS regulations?


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