Crime Pays Part I
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By Christopher R Rice
Rick Scott was CEO of Columbia/HCA when they committed what was then the largest Medicare fraud in US history.
"In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history. Columbia/HCA admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about use of hospital space. They also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients. In addition, they gave doctors "loans" never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.
In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims. In all, civil lawsuits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle; at the time this was the largest fraud settlement in U.S. history."
Rick Scott was never prosecuted or even arrested. He was allowed to resign as CEO with a golden parachute including $10 million cash and $350 million in stocks. Scott then went on to be elected governor of Florida.
Crime pays so well why not?
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