Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We Have Answers for the FBI

     On the day of the government raid the FBI agents asked clinic employees some very pointed questions.
     The employees couldn't answer with equanimity because they were angered and dismayed by the surprise attack.  Also, the questions seemed random and self-explanatory.  In the next few days we shared the questions we could remember,  and tried to figure out what the federal agents were thinking.
     But maybe they weren't thinking anything.  Thinking could get in the way of what they wanted to do, which was to spread fear and confusion.  There's a new word for that:  agnotology.
     "Agnotology"-- culturally constructed ignorance, purposely created by special interest groups working hard to create confusion and suppress the truth.

               1.  Q:  Does Dr. Colasante ever ask you to bill for x-ray
                          procedures you haven't done?
                    A:  No.

               2.   Q:  What are you doing with so many IUD's in this office?
                     A:  We are inserting them, at patients' requests, to be used
                           for contraception.

               3.   Q:  Why do you do so many EKG's on patients?
                     A:  We don't count how many we do.  We do EKG's
                           on patients with chest pain, palpitations, or symptoms
                           that could signify a heart problem.

               4.  Q:  Does Dr. Colasante write in the chart after other
                          providers have written their notes?
                    A:  Yes.  As Medical Director she looks at every note on
                          every patient each day and adds suggestions--or she
                          formulates plans for future treatment.

               5.  Q:  Do employees get bonuses here?  What's the reason for
                          the bonuses?
                    A:  Monthly bonuses are given to employees for perfect
                          attendance and excellent performance.  They are accompanied
                          by suggestions for improvement.

               6.  Q:  Do employees get "paid" to quit smoking?
                    A:  If an employee quits smoking for 3 months he/she gets $500.
                          After 6 months the employee gets $1,000.  If the employee
                          restarts smoking in the next year, he must refund $1,000.

               7.  Q:  Why is Dr. Colasante paying people to quit smoking?
                    A:  Because smoking is bad.  And when employees quit they can
                          be role models for patients who want to quit.

               8.  Q:  What other "bonuses" does Dr. Colasante give?
                    A:  If employees become fit enough to  run continuously
                          for two miles, they get $1,000.  If they run two
                          miles twenty more times, they get another $1,000.  If they
                          run two miles twenty more times after that, they get $500.
                          After that, they just seem to keep running without
                          bonuses, and stay fit.

               9.  Q:  Why are employees paid bonuses to go running?
                    A:  Because, like our patients, most of them don't think they
                          can exercise that much.  Once they do it, they encourage
                          patients to do the same, and everyone loses weight.

              10.  Q:  Do billing staff ever get paid to send charges to insurance
                           companies for services that haven't been performed?
                     A:  No.

              11.  Q:  Why is this office doing so many HIV tests on people over
                            age 50?
              12.  A:  Because people over 50 are the fastest growing group of
                           newly diagnosed HIV patients, and we think they should
                           be able to find out if they have the infection.

              13.  Q:  But why are you doing HIV tests on married people over
                           age 50?
              14.  A:  Because they ask to be tested.  And because we have a
                           sizable number of patients who have contracted HIV from
                           their spouses.

              15.  Q:  Did you know that your IV Reclast was shipped from Canada?
                     A:  We ordered it from Northwest Pharmacy, which ships
                           brand-name medications to over 50,000 doctors in the United
                           States (one million American patients per year).  It is
                           manufactured by Merck and it goes through
                           inspection at the United States border.  The boxes are
                           stamped with United States customs approval.

               16.  Q: Why did you order Reclast from that pharmacy?
                      A:  Because they've been in business for a long time, and because
                            Reclast from any distributor in the United States costs $300
                            more than Medicare will pay, so if we didn't get it from
                            Northwest Pharmacy we wouldn't be able to give
                            it to patients who need it .

               17.  Q:  Does Dr. Colasante ask you to do ultrasound procedures that
                            you don't think patients really need?
                      A:  No.

              18.  Q:  Why did Dr. Colasante open this clinic?
                     A:  Because after she sold her Hawthorne Clinic the owner
                           ran it into the ground and took off with the money.

     Thank you, Reader, for visiting my blog and for making it to the bottom of this list of FBI questions.
     If you can glean from the questions any clues about why the FBI stormed my clinic please send a comment.
     Otherwise I will have to assume that the raid was a sordid example of agnotology.



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