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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rampant abuse

From the Palm Beach Post-

WASHINGTON — Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties accounted for half of the drug costs billed nationwide for Medicare beneficiaries with HIV/AIDS in the last half of 2006, according to a government report released this week.

That's even though only 10 percent of the roughly 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries with HIV/AIDS nationwide live in the three South Florida counties.

The area also accounted for 79 percent of the drugs themselves and 37 percent of the HIV/AIDS services provided from July through December 2006, according to the report by Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson.

The numbers were released as federal officials already are keeping a close eye on potentially fraudulent medical billings in South Florida.

The report said the "aberrant claims patterns differentiated South Florida providers and beneficiaries from those in the rest of the country."

"We recommend that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services treat South Florida as a high-risk area and mandate site visits for certain types of providers before issuing provider numbers," Levinson said in a statement.

"Medicare continues to be highly vulnerable to fraud and abuse, and immediate steps must be taken to protect the program and its beneficiaries," he said.
I'm certain there is fraud going on in regards to billing for HIV and AIDS patients. Just look what Tenet Healthcare had to do last year. The second biggest hospital chain in this country had to pay an almost billion dollar fine for overbilling Medicare. If you think that is an anomaly, check out the story of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey the biggest medical school in the country, that could have been closed down because of similar acts of fraud.

Then we have my own personal experience with a diagnostic imaging center here in Palm Beach County. They overcharged me $95 for my wife's ultrasound and were refusing to refund my credit card till I threatened to cause a stink. Then four years later, a sister office run by the same company tried to fleece me again.

Bottom line- I believe a good many if not majority of major players in the healthcare field, commit medicare and medicaid fraud on a daily basis. Do a Yahoo news search with the words medicare fraud, you'll find articles every week about someone pleading guilty or being arrested for that. The ones who get caught are just the tip of the iceberg.

Linked to- Adam, Jo, Rosemary, Stuck on Stupid, Woman Honor Thyself,

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