The PJ Tatler

The Federal Government's Medicaid Program: Corruption Enabler

The feds are too big to succeed at anything these days, including winning wars against pisher “countries” like Iraq and Afghanistan. And too big even to administer domestic programs responsibility. America, you’re being had:

“Free sneakers, shoes and boots today,” Bernard Rorie shouted, standing outside a soup kitchen in East New York, Brooklyn, where he was being recorded by investigators.

Mr. Rorie was recruiting homeless people, prosecutors said, and whoever had a valid Medicaid card would be packed into a van and sent to medical clinics around New York City. There, after hours of unnecessary tests and fake diagnoses, the homeless people would be sent off with sneakers — selected from stacks of shoeboxes in the clinics’ basements. The doctors, staff members and billing specialists, meanwhile, would rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars per recruit in false Medicaid claims, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday, nine New York doctors were among 23 people indicted in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn in connection with the sneaker scheme, which the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said made almost $7 million and took advantage of thousands of homeless people. The charges in the indictment include health fraud, enterprise corruption and money laundering.

Ho-hum, just another day in the history of the Tammany Party, aka the criminal organization masquerading as a political party, aka the Democrats.

Typically, once patients arrived at a clinic, they would be seen by a podiatrist, the indictment says. The podiatrist would give a “fictitious diagnosis,” order more tests or specify equipment like orthotics or leg braces that the patient actually did not need. The podiatrist often referred the patient to additional doctors who were part of the scheme, including psychiatrists and pain-management specialists, who might sign the patient up for recurring visits that they could bill. Cardiologists and vein specialists, meanwhile, might bill as if they were reviewing their unnecessary tests without actually doing any reviewing, or claim to Medicaid they had done procedures that they never had.

After all of that, the patient would get to pick a pair of shoes, boots or sandals from a storeroom that, in at least one clinic, Mr. Thompson described as “like a shoe store.”

The doctors in the group made money by, for instance, seeing a patient for four minutes and billing for 30 minutes, or claiming they had reviewed tests when they had not, or simply billing for procedures they had never done, prosecutors said. Some doctors paid… a referral fee for each recruit, while some split the Medicaid payment with [the alleged ringleader].

The “fictitious” diagnoses listed in the indictment include “dermatophytosis of nail,” a fungal infection; “abnormality of gait”; “lumbago,” which is lower-back pain; and “radiculitis,” or nerve pain. Some of the doctors involved are affiliated with well-known institutions. Dr. Joseph Grossman, 82, a cardiologist, was a clinical assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. The vein surgeon Dr. David Glass, 65, a former assistant chief of surgery at New York Methodist, is an assistant clinical professor at Cornell, according to his website. Dr. Grossman and Dr. Glass pleaded not guilty.

“Fundamental moral transformation” — catch it!