Ed Weingart has extensive experience as a technical director, sound designer, and rigger. At present, he is an assistant professor of technical direction, show control, and automation at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. In this capacity he also serves as Technical Director for Michigan State University Department of Theatre. Previoiusly, he was the technical director at the Performance Network Theater in Ann Arbor Michigan. Prior to that he was the executive technical director at the Tri-Arts Sharon Playhouse. Ed holds an MFA and BFA from the University of Connecticut, where he was the Technical Director and Sound Designer for numerous Connecticut Repertory Theater shows. In addition, Ed has also been the resident sound designer for the Harry Hope Theater at Eastern Connecticut State University.
First, Gov. Rick Scott scared the bejesus out of seniors with an online ad claiming that Medicare rate cuts would lead them to lose access to their doctors, hospitals and preventive care.
Then, the Florida Democratic Party fired back at Scott, issuing a press release that called Scott “the ultimate Medicare thief.”
The Democrats were referring to Scott’s prior tenure as CEO of Columbia/HCA about a decade ago, when the hospital company was fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud.
“Rick Scott is saying Democrats are committing Medicare robbery, when in fact he’s the ultimate Medicare thief. He lost the right to accuse Democrats of raiding Medicare when he oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in the nation’s history. Rick Scott’s company stole money that should have gone to healthcare for seniors,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesman Joshua Karp in the Feb. 25 press release.
Separately, we have fact checked Scott’s claim “we are seeing dramatic rate cuts” to Medicare that will affect people’s choice of doctor, hospital and preventive care. We concluded that Scott had failed to say that the rate cut only applies to Medicare Advantage, and thus only affects a fraction of all Medicare beneficiaries. Also, it could be several months before we know the actual impact of the cut, which could vary county by county. We rated Scott’s claim Mostly False.
Here, we’ll fact check the Democratic counter attack that Scott “oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in the nation’s history.”
During Scott’s 2010 race for governor, PolitiFact fact checked multiple claims related to his tenure at Columbia/HCA. Now, we’ll recap some of our earlier discussion of the investigation and fine.
Scott started what was first Columbia in 1987, purchasing two El Paso, Texas, hospitals. Over the next decade he would add hundreds of hospitals, surgery centers and home health locations. In 1994, Scott’s Columbia purchased Tennessee headquartered HCA and its 100 hospitals, and merged the companies.
In 1997, federal agents went public with an investigation into the company, first seizing records from four El Paso area hospitals and then expanding across the country. The investigation focused on whether Columbia/HCA had committed Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
Scott resigned as CEO in July 1997, less than four months after the inquiry became public. Company executives said had Scott remained CEO, the entire chain could have been in jeopardy.
During his 2010 race, the Miami Herald reported that Scott had said he would have immediately stopped his company from committing fraud if only “somebody told me something was wrong.” But there were such warnings in the company’s annual public reports to stockholders which Scott had to sign as president and CEO.
Scott wanted to fight the accusations, but the corporate board of the publicly traded company wanted to settle. Justice Department announced that Columbia/HCA agreed to pay $840 million in criminal fines, civil damages and penalties.
Among the revelations from the 2000 settlement:
Columbia billed Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs for tests that were not necessary or had not been ordered by physicians.
The company attached false diagnosis codes to patient records to increase reimbursement to the hospitals.
The company illegally claimed non reimbursable marketing and advertising costs as cheap nfl jerseys community education.
Columbia billed the government for home healthcare visits for patients who did not qualify to receive them.
The government settled a second series of similar claims with Columbia/HCA in 2002 for an additional $881 million. The total for the two fines was $1.7 billion.
On Scott’s 2010 campaign website, he admitted to the $1.7 billion fine, though the link is no longer on the site. History.”
A Justice Department spokeswoman said that officials refer to Columbia/HCA as “largest healthcare fraud” rather than the more narrow term “Medicare fraud” because it involved defrauding other government programs such as Medicaid rather than Medicare exclusively. The Justice Department described in detail the various ways the company defrauded Medicare and other government health programs here.
Here’s a key point, though: While the Columbia/HCA settlement cheap nhl jerseys was a record at the time for health care fraud, it has since been surpassed. In cases related to the improper promotion of certain drugs, Johnson Johnson agreed to a $2.2 billion settlement in 2013, Pfizer settled for $2.3 billion in 2009 and GlaxoSmithKline settled for $3 billion in 2012.
“HCA was the record healthcare fraud at the time. It’s now Glaxo,” Justice Department spokeswoman Linda Mansour told PolitiFact in an email.
That said, these cases were a little different. While the Justice Department’s case against Columbia/HCA repeatedly mentions over billing and defrauding Medicare and Medicaid specifically, the three newer cases focused on the marketing of drugs, with Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs caught up in the impropriety, rather than being the specific targets of the fraud.
Because the Justice Department press releases explaining the settlements don’t explicitly break down how much of the misconduct in those more recent cases defrauded Medicare explicitly, it’s difficult to make comparisons.
The Pfizer case includes violations relating to mis branding and kickbacks, “so there may be a distinction to be made for that reason when thinking about whether it all should be classified under the very general category of ‘Medicare fraud,'” said Asha Scielzo, who practices healthcare law at the firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.
The Scott campaign did not respond to an inquiry for this fact check. However in 2010, Scott told the Tampa Bay Times, “There’s no question that mistakes were made and as CEO, I have to accept responsibility for those mistakes. I was focused on lowering costs and making the hospitals more efficient. cheap wholesale jerseys I could have had more wholesale jerseys internal and external controls. I learned hard lessons and I’ve taken that lesson and it’s helped me become a better business person and a better leader.”Articles Connexes：
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