Skip to comments.FEDS RUN EXTORTION SCAM ON DOCTORS
Posted on 02/28/2013 7:17:54 AM PST by safetysign
Dr. John Natale of Illinois graduated with honors from Loyola University, graduated medical school from Northwestern University School of Medicine and went on to complete eight years of arduous postgraduate study to become a highly trained thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon. For over 20 years he practiced his specialty at a hospital in Illinois, doing extremely complicated cases, including treating ruptured aortic aneurysms. Although these cases have greater than 10 percent intraoperative mortality in the recognized medical literature, Dr. Natale never lost a patient on the operating table.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...
I am a surgeon and have done thousands of cases, many involving complicated spinal implants and decompressions. I try to dictate my operative note immediately after the case, but sometimes that is not possible. I have been on call and been rushed into other emergencies before I could get a break to dictate. Sometimes I was up for nearly two days and just couldnt stay awake anymore (after the adrenaline rush of surgery was over) to dictate a coherent report, so put it off till the next morning.
Medicare/medicaid fraud does seem to be a serious problem in this country (just think: crooked chiropractor...crooked lawyer...car accident...disability claim) but if I was on the jury I would,at the very least,give the surgeon the benefit of the doubt...particularly in light of the passage highlighted above.But your typical juror...IQ 95....finished 10th grade...probably envious of a successful physician...couldn't even begin to understand the realities of a case like this.
Pointed up in the original article was that the Medicare Nazis don't examine all cases; they sample, and then extrapolate. It's Aaron Swartz all over again -- they "make an example" at best, and do "extortion under color of office" at worst.
It's already having an effect. Almost all of the medical practitioners on my appointments list have sent letters or posted notices that they no long accept new Medicare patients. So now, instead of private-sector lawyers looming over a practicing doctor, you now have the "doc cops".
And the worst of it is that the docs don't get their day in court, because of the inflation of the charges.
Personally, I'd like to see a class-action lawsuit against the "cop docs" that exposes, for the public record, all the problems. Subpoena the doctors who have been victims of the extortion, with guarantees of immunity. Then the facts will get out in the open, in the sunshine.
The ultimate solution is for the medical profession to use the Standard Process (via ANSI) to codify the Best Medical Practices, and to have Congress add the force of law to those Standards. Anyone bringing a cause for action must demonstrate how the doctor in question violated the published Best Practices. No violation, no case, period. This can be extended to the "doc cops" in that coding can be associated with the Best Medical Practices so that when a doctor has to "make up" a code, he or she is protected against harrassment or worse.
Such a system would remove the "deep pockets syndrome" in both medical malpractice actions and in Medicare "enforcement".
I'm all for saving money in medicine. When I had my heart attack and subsequent hospitalization, I was overcharged $30K (not covered by insurance) because the procedures were not done for my benefit, but for the benefit of potential malpractice actions if I took a turn for the worst. I just paid off that excess over the past five years, money which I no longer have toward my retirement. So this activity has a real cost to patients.
Want to see medical insurance premiums go down? Advocate for a standards-based medical practice system, one with teeth to stop lawyers from fishing. Let's decide what's Best Medical Practice before the doctor sees the patent, let alone the correct course for treatment. Every single doctor I've seen for the past fifty years has demonstrated he or she wants to do the best thing for the patient, not necessarily the best thing for the malpractice insurance carrier.
And though I sympathize with the plight of Dr. Natale and others like him, I remember that when Medicare paid a large percentage of the doctor's full charges, and never even took a look at the quality of the chart, the physician community was only too happy to belly up to the federal buffet table and dig in deeply.
They have taken the king's shilling, and now must hie to the king's commands.
Sadly, we can’t trust the “Feds Facts” or anything else these days. Hillary and the travel gate scandal opened my eyes. Screwing people for the sake of screwing people seems to be a hobby for the evil.
This looks to be clearly a case of “destroy any republican at any price” kind of thing. Trouble is, that most fear it happening to them, if they stand up against it. The left suffers no fools. The left leaves no witnesses, either.
What I see is that a highly educated and productive taxpayer is now in prison at taxpayer expense instead working and paying taxes.
If and it’s a big IF, the fed facts are even true, the punishment is stupid and excessive for the “crime”.
Meanwhile, teen flash-gangs of a protected class run rampant looting small businesses.
This is what big government does.
No. The ultimate solution is to get teh federal government as far away from anything even resembling medical care in the first place. There is no constitutional authority for them to be messing in this.
Most Doctors are doing the next best thing, refusing medicare.
I'm all for saving money in medicine. When I had my heart attack and subsequent hospitalization, I was overcharged $30K (not covered by insurance) because the procedures were not done for my benefit, but for the benefit of potential malpractice actions if I took a turn for the worst.
So you suffered medical malpractice by the doctor running unneccessary procedures just to line his pockets.
You must understand one thing.
Our tax system IS NOT about collecting revenue.
Our tax sysem is strictly punitive action against those who have attempted to and have succeeded in life.
This whole thing is getting a little stinkier.
I went back to the special grand jury's “True Bill” and Fitzpatrick loaded the counts.
At trial, Dr.Natale was acquitted of the most serious charges - 2 counts of health care fraud and one count of mail fraud. yet, the sentencing judge used the acquitted counts as a basis for sentencing. "The goal here was to collect more than he otherwise would have been entitled," Judge Pallmeyer said...
an Amicus brief was filed in January 2013 attached to Dr. Natale's appeal.
to think that all this country can do is DUMP ON THEM in any way is insanity....
the docs with their heavy academic backgrounds, the huge college loans and the YEARS AND YEARS to get into the practice should have been teachers....get a whopping 4 yr degree filled with soft liberal arts, and then have all weekends, holidays, and summers off and never ever get fired nor be able to be sued. and retire with medical and a fat pension after 30 yrs......
there is something mighty off in this country...mighty off...
Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer is an appointee of a lawyer who knowingly and willingly perjured himself in a Federal court in case addressing the harassment of a subordinate by the most powerful person in her state.We can all be damn sure that Judge Pallmeyer wouldn't know an open thoracotomy if she tripped over one yet she has the audacity to make a statement like that.And to think that this country's lawyers don't have the first clue as to why they're held in less esteem than used car salesmen.
No. The ultimate solution is to get the federal government as far away from anything even resembling medical care in the first place. There is no constitutional authority for them to be messing in this.
The only reason I suggest a Standards-based approach is to reign in the number and size of malpractice lawsuits in these United States. ANSI is the forum that allows industries to set Standards using a uniform process -- that actual Standards are set by all the people interested, in this case Doctors, Lawyers, Hospitals, and Insurance Companies. And the people, who can get in on the act directly.
The government itself wouldn't get involved, except to instruct the State and Federal courts that the Standards as passed have the force of law. Doctors shouldn't have to defend their actions just because someone dies; they should defend their actions when someone dies because they didn't follow Best Medical Practice.
As for the Constitutionality of such an act, the Congress has defined the rules for tort law with regard to medical malpractice. This suggestion would be a minor modification to existing statute. It will affect existing Court decisions, but not in a major way.
The only people who really win malpractice suits are the lawyers. My idea raises the bar, to the point there are fewer lawsuits, with a more predictable outcome when there is a lawsuit.