Buried on the back of the front page section in our paper today, the headline reads:
“Mafia, violent criminals turn to Medicare fraud“. And it goes on –
“Lured by easier money and shorter prison sentences, Mafia figures and other VIOLENT criminals (my emphasis here) are increasingly moving into Medicare fraud and spilling blood over what once was a white collar crime.”
What does this tell you about fraud in health care and the government’s ability to fight the exploding health care costs? Just a wild guess here, but if the Mafia is moving in they see an opportunity.
It’s not hard to see this out of control cost explosion and how it is so lucrative for the insurance and drug companies and now the Mafia. But do you really think the government can make it better?
I recently went to my family doctor for a follow up (who I fired by the way, over this last straw incident). I simply needed a written referral for physical therapy. He’d seen me in the previous couple of weeks for my ongoing back problems so I figured he could just write the referral and leave it for me. Wrong, I have to make an appointment to see him. This means at least an hour wait in the waiting room (exposed to sick people and all their germs), and probably another 30-45 minutes in the examination room before I am actually graced with his presence.
Okay, my back hurts. I just want to get well so I do it. But I was right, I waited and I’m dying if I’m lying -1 hour and 45 minutes! He then spent less than 4 minutes with me and I’m out of there, referral in hand. The fraud and exploding costs part come when I go to pay. My co-pay is $10.08 so I figure, oh well at least I’ve got the referral. But they billed the insurance company $98.00!
I don’t know the answer, but I can tell you it’s not what’s on the table in any of the bills being put forth by our fearless leaders! All I’ve got to say is I can see why the Mafia is moving in!