Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Patient or patsy?
Why is there so much Medicare fraud? Obviously because there are thousands of amoral thieves out there who, not wanting to work for a living, have created a scam to bilk Medicare out of millions. But also because Medicare and other health providers are not diligent in weeding out these frauds and, without expressing any suspicions, pay these fraudulent invoices. Recently a friend's father, who is 99 years old, ordered a back brace by mail. It was called a Body Jacket Type and was ordered from Dependable Diabetic Supply of Venice, Florida. Basically it was just that: a jacket, made to look somewhat therapeutic with various Velcro straps and snaps. Any intelligent person on seeing this mediocre garment would value it at about $25.00 if anything at all. But no. The company billed Medicare for $1,310.00 of which Medicare, without question, paid $1,048.00. Equally without suspicion, the senior gentleman's health plan paid the remaining $262.00. Thus both these health services casually allowed these scammers to walk away with $1,310 for an essentially worthless item. So, yes, we have to crack down on these criminals, but to do that we have to make sure our state and federal Medicare providers start questioning every invoice and stop paying what are obviously excessive and suspicious charges.
Note: Since I posted this still more Medicaid fraud was exposed. They have just revealed that Medicare has paid $60 billion in claims that were never really check, sending the unchecked checks to questionable addresses, including post office boxes. It's amazing how many of our government agencies are completely incompetent.