last couple of weeks, I’ve tried changing up my weekly thoughts by going back
to some satire and humor. Apparently it didn’t work since the page views onto
my website have dwindled down to almost nothing. This tells me that you like to
read my caustic comments on our government rather than some cutsie humorous fluff
piece that I make up.
So, here I go again with another poke at some of
the common insanity that is going on in our country.
Last month I read
a report that stated that the good old US government had paid out more than ninety
two million of our hard earned dollars to Medicare fraud. It seems so called medical
suppliers have been billing the government for wheelchairs and other pieces of
home equipment for people who had already died. Not only had the patients died,
but so had a large number of doctors who had originally prescribed whatever was
Now, before I get too far into this article let me reiterate that
this ninety two million dollars was the amount paid out by using the identification
number of only dead doctors.
Did you get that? Only dead doctors.
of these doctors had died at least five years earlier. It seems that the Medicare
system currently is holding nearly 2,900 identification numbers as active for
doctors that are known to be deceased. The might be dead, but they are still issuing
Doesn’t this make you proud?
The report goes on
to say that the investigators pulled 1500 doctors names at random and asked them
to submit medical equipment claims for the years 2000 and 2007. They found that
734 dead doctors had filed a total of 21,458 claims during that period. To compound
the problem the federal investigators only counted claims that were submitted
more than a year after the doctor had died.
Makes you wonder how many
more were out there doesn’t it?
It seems the feds obtained a list of deceased
doctors from the American Medical Association and then compared claims made by
those physicians and from that data they determined that a fraud had been committed.
Now, I don’t know about you, but it would seem to me
that the government should be able to match up the names of dead people against
a database of people making claims for services. Especially if the guy making
claims has been dead for a period of one to five years.
No wonder we can’t
find Osama. For all we know old Osama might be living in the big apple and selling
hot dogs in Central Park. If we can’t deny claims made by a guy who has been dead
for a number of years, how would we know if someone like Osama isn’t living here
in the US of A?
I don’t expect much to come of this ‘huge’ government
investigation. I predict it will all go away and nothing of any importance will
be done. Some years ago, after my mother died, I continue to receive copies of
invoices sent to Medicare for a wheelchair and a cane, which she never had gotten.
These invoices keep coming for about 5 or 6 months after she died. I wrote to
Medicare and explained that I thought this was fraud since she had been dead for
a period of time and had never used a cane or a wheelchair.
know how a letter looks when its’ been through the copier a couple of hundred
times? Well, that’s what I got. A form letter that had been copied so many times
it was hard to read. No phone number, no case number, no nothing except a form
letter telling me ‘they’ would look into my complaint and ‘thoroughly’ investigate
for any wrongdoing.
Lots of luck. I can tell you the chances of that happening
are slim and none.
Medicare officials said they were making the system
more ‘fraud’ proof by matching up the social security numbers of deceased Americans
against doctors filing claims. I don’t know about you, but I would have thought
they were doing this from the start.
All, I know is that if I were to
try any of this, the FBI, CIA , IRS and God knows who else would be on me like
a duck on a June bug. I’d never get dollar one.
there is hope…..a spokesman for Medicare says that “Before our current reforms,
anyone could become a supplier, but now they must be fully accredited based on
strict financial and quality standards.”
Excuse me, but I think I heard
the barn door slam.
Send this to your friends…..write to your congressman
or congresswoman, whatever…go to www.pearyperry.com and make copies…..this kind
of stuff will cause us to go broke.
From North America
August 13, 2008 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers