Wednesday, August 15, 2012


     1.  Is a doctor whose past is notable for reporting his best friends to the police--in order to escape blame during a narcotics coup in which he, too, was guilty--likely to recognize "integrity"?
     2.  Is a doctor who betrayed the Hippocratic oath, and overrode the consensus of fellow physicians, in order to make extra money for years by administering a lethal potion to death-row inmates, likely to refrain from doing harm if it might be in his financial interests?
     3.  Is it likely that a businesswoman whose first action within days of purchasing a rural medical clinic is to report the seller to state and federal authorities for fraud, likely to have been sincere in her purported motive to operate a clinic and "help people"?
     4.  Is it possible that throughout eighteen months of due diligence an interested buyer--and her lawyers, bookkeepers and accountants--could analyze thousands of pages of billing and clinic records, asking for more, week after week--and still miss "fraud" in a medical practice until just a few days after the purchase has been finalized?
     5.  Are people who are hoping for a whistleblower fee likely to tell the truth, if it might ruin their chances for a sizable sum of money?
     6.  Does a doctor who runs a busy clinic and manages dozens of employees have time, after deliberating over the best treatments for sick patients each day, after warranting that all county, state and federal requirements are met, after meeting payroll and operating expenses, after documenting procedures and other services provided to patients, after searching through coding manuals for the most accurate ways to bill, after reviewing denied claims, after troubleshooting logistical and medical supply problems, late into the night much of the time...does that doctor then have time to devise a deliberate plan to defraud the federal government of Medicare money--a plan so devious it qualifies as money laundering?
     7.  Does anyone in the federal government, even at Medicare headquarters, understand the colossal volumes (more than 200,000 pages) of regulations and warnings that are supposed to "guide" physicians through the billing process--does anyone understand these labyrinthine rules well enough to differentiate true fraud from genuine physician attempts to bill for exactly the work performed?
     8.  Are the new codes which are introduced into Medicare's CPT books (e.g., G0442, G0443, 97535) supposed to go unused by the physicians who provide the services they designate, under threat of raid and indictment?
     8.  Are federal investigations about finding the truth?
     9.  Are legal cases focused on arguing from valid stances, using logic and facts in the manner of Seneca and all the brilliant rhetoricians since then who have followed his example, in order to arrive at  conclusions that carry within them the weight of principles, and an eye toward the common good?
   10.  How long should a hostage be held before the sensationalism surrounding his capture and captivity is remedied by hard facts--and he is allowed to be exonerated, and released?
   11.  What sort of doctor is it, who can withstand external pressures that increase every day, every week, every year--and what sort of treatment for patients can be expected from doctors who must live and work within this pressure-cooker?
   12.  Which of the following qualities too often characterize the human organism?  (Choose two.)   
          a)  Compassion
          b)  Intelligence
          c)  Dedication
          d)  Envy
          e)  Greed  


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