These crooks billed Medicare more than $225 million for services that were not performed. One Brooklyn proctologist billed $6.5 million for phony hemorrhoid removals. He claimed he performed 10 on one patient alone. Impossible! Are there even that many potential hemorrhoids in Brooklyn? A podiatrist billed Medicare $700,000 for toenail removals. The stupid guy said he removed 20 nails on 3 toes of one patient.
Medicare is one of the largest health care payers in the world with 1.3 million licensed suppliers nationwide. Medicare not only pays doctors and hospitals, but also chiropractors, podiatrists, physical therapists, Christian Science practitioners, home health agencies, medical supplies and equipment manufacturers.
Now that Medicare is so large and cumbersome, we need to strengthen the enforcement and applications for providers. How about criminal background checks for provider applicants? Unfortunately, right now a fraudulent clinic can shut down in one locale and open a new operation and begin billing all over again.
As a taxpayer I support strict enforcement and prosecution. As a primary care physician who saw her reimbursement cut this year to $84.00 for taking care of a complicated medicare patient, I am outraged at the waste.