Sunday, May 18, 2014

210 Charges against Me? Come on, Get Real

     When Henry Milken was indicted in 1989, it was on 98 charges of racketeering and securities fraud.  Milken was an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur who pretty much invented junk bonds.  He developed a novel formula for looking at new, small, cash-poor companies and figuring out which ones were likely to make it big, then he invested in them.  Roberts and Stratton (authors of The Tyranny of Good Intentions --How Prosecutors and Law Enforcement are Trampling on the Constitution in the Name of Justice") report that in 1986 Milken had made his employer, Drexel Burnham Lambert, the most profitable firm on Wall Street, "with revenues in excess of $4 billion and earnings of $545.5 million."
     By contrast, my solo rural clinic billed $45,000 to Medicare in 2012.  In prior years, during the heyday of Hawthorne Medical Center, when the clinic was open three times as many hours as the typical family practice office and offered a multitude of procedures that no other family doctors or urgent care centers offered, the clinic may have earned as much as $1 million from Medicare.  In those busy days, personnel expenses--including payroll, health insurance coverage, two retirement plans for employees and paid sick and vacation time--cost the clinic around $1 million per year.
     Nevertheless, the government decided to stack a whopping 210 charges against me.
     I understand that the number of charges doesn't necessarily correlate with the terribleness of the crimes--at least, that's what a lawyer told me.  But, what does it correlate with?  The uncertainty of government agents, who must substitute quantity for quality?
     Or is the number of charges supposed to instill in me 210 times as much fear as only one federal criminal charge?
     It makes no sense to have done listed so many "counts," at least not from the standpoint of getting the court to mete out a maximum sentence, since each charge carries a possible 10-year sentence.  At this rate, the prosecutor seems to want to put  me in jail (should the government's might override my right) for 2,110 years.  Is this ridiculous, or not?
     For that matter, the government's agents could have indicted me on 2,000 charges, or 20,000, given how they chose to interpret office notes and define charges.  I imagine that they went through patient charts (or had "experts" do this), tallying up office notes that looked like good examples of "billing for procedures that weren't necessary," or "billing for services that weren't provided," until they got to 200, and then they got tired.
     "Let's do a few more," a few stalwart investigators said.   "We're on a roll here."
     "Ah, man, I'm whooped," the others countered.  "We've got enough to put that witch in jail for ten lifetimes."
     "Yeah, but we could get so many more charges on her--the sky's the limit!"
     "Think of the press coverage!"
     "He's right," said another.  "Practically every office note could be seen as criminal, when you look at it our way.  None of these services was really necessary."
     "Family doctors aren't necessary," one quipped.
     "Not from the standpoint of the fraud laws, they aren't."
     "Doctors aren't necessary, are they?  Let's get rid of them all!"
     "And go back to shamans, and faith healers, and leeches, and boomba-bamboozle-the-masses  medicine," they laughed.
     "The masses are so easily bamboozled, too."
     "The idiots," someone shouted.
     It was getting raucous in the cooped-up quarters of the FBI office, the agents hemmed in by patient records--12,000 medical charts--in stacks and messy piles everywhere they turned.
     "Damn, this is a drag."
     "Hey, everyone, I'm starving," announced lead agent Robert Murphy--who had put on some weight in the four years since the paper-laden Colasante investigation had started.  "This desk work is a bummer."
     "Sitting around all day sucks!  When are we ever gonna use these guns?"
     "What's the point in having guns, if you can't use them?"   
     "Call it quits, everyone," ordered Murphy.  "Let's go out for pizza."
     "Pizza!  Yes!"
     "Love that pizza!"

4 comments:

  1. I'd love to post this as an anonymous user, but somehow, I don't think it'll turn out to be that way for a number of reasons. In any case for what it's worth, you grimey, god fearing "leaders" are the same ones who could probably nail Jesus of Nazareth himself at any given time..It's a blooming shame he, nor Dr. Colasante can ever hope to heal certain illnesses, hard as they've tried against the wishes of their peers.

    Continue to rot in he, er, FLORIDA..you swamp reptiles :)

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  2. And oh, one other thing, do her, and the rest of us mainstreamers a favor: "Give us all liberty, or better yet, don't give us ANYthing--AKA don't give us any tyranny or BS" :-D

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  3. Whenever I was a patient with Colasante it was a nightmare! When you first go there they perform every test imaginable and it leads one to think, "Wow they really care." until YOU NEVER GET THE RESULTS. And then when you are having real issues (I had been transported by ambulance from home and was told when released to have my primary schedule some more tests) they don't have time for you. Even when they would set me an appointment. I have sat for over an hour and a half waiting, they take your payment for the visit before you are seen, only to have them come out and tell you that you would have to reschedule and this happened more than once. I do believe that they were just getting payment from my insurance for tests that were unnecessary and not properly administered. Hence, my not getting any results from them! My friends were also patients and the same thing happened to them.

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  4. Sure, like the FBI just goes around doing surprise raids and "no one knows why"...what utter bull!! When is this trial?? It was supposed to be in June of 2014. All of a sudden, it went quiet, what is up? Is she being jailed awaiting her trial? If not, she will probably run. You cheat the system and screw people over, you do time. Please save all the conspiracy theories, there are TONS of people in Gainesville/Hawthorne who can relay horror stories about this practice and the total fraud that took place. Gordon Gekko was wrong honey, Greed is NOT good.

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