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The immediate consequences are higher consumer costs, greater cuts in physician payments, and the reputation damage that all physicians are in some way guilty of Medicare fraud. Believe me, they’re not!
Harley Blank, M.D.
By Harley M. Blank, M.D.
Newsroom Magazine Science Contributor
August 24, 2011
I was going to write you a note about Newsroom Magazine’s ongoing coverage of medical and FOREX fraud, but I thought it might be too insensitive. But after seeing three Miami-Dade Medicare fraud stories in yesterday’s edition I knew it was time for a physician to speak up. Here it comes.
It seems that if you live in Florida or California and have a foreign sounding name ( read that as African, Hispanic, Indian, or Asian ), and you deal in medicare 3rd party services such as DME ( durable medical equipment ), PT ( physical therapy ), or psychiatric services, then you are a criminal waiting to be caught.
The docs I know are terrified of Medicare audits. Not only are you defenseless against the Feds, but since you filed the claims ( mail or electronically ) you are guilty of mail fraud which is a felony and an automatic loss of license.
That is why, when Medicare fraud came up in conversations with colleagues, I would say, “who would do such a thing for so little money?”
Now I know — I just was not thinking on a big enough scale.
Moreover, I never would have thought that non MDs would be the ones engineering such schemes. The fact that some MDs bought into the plots just shows the depth of their greed and moral corruption. The immediate consequences are higher consumer costs, greater cuts in physician payments, and the reputation damage that all physicians are in some way guilty of Medicare fraud. Believe me, they’re not!
The only thing that rivals this is the number of Forex Ponzi schemes covered by Newsroom Magazine nearly every week. However, unlike the Medicare system, the FOREX investors, lured by promoter promises of 40% to 60% annual returns, deserve to be screwed for their unmitigated greed and avarice.
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