FBI raids three Southern California hospitals in probe of Medicare fraud
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Desperate hospitals taking desperate measures, with none of this being legal and lead a couple arrests with more to come. Empty beds cost hospitals money, so was this an attempt to fill the beds or fill some pockets. Over 50% of the hospitals in the US border on insolvency. Whether or not that had any impact here on the motivation is not known yet, but the overall shape of our hospitals today in the US is not good.
The homeless unfortunately were used as pawns, but maybe perhaps somewhere along the line let's hope that maybe a little bit of good came out of it for the folks, perhaps they did receive some medical attention they may not have otherwise seen and they had a nice clean bed and shower for a couple days or so.
In a related story in Tustin, it appears some kickbacks were in place. Tustin last year closed it's emergency room, more than likely due to non profitability. As Medicare and Medicaid funds get tighter and harder to obtain, it's probably not the last time we will see such efforts as people do desperate things under desperate times. After the new laws hit in October, any penalties incurred just may be enough to shut down a few more hospitals in the process. So until we get some sort of system to insure that patients, doctors, and hospitals don't have to go bankrupt and literally fight to stay alive in today's economy, more of this type of action will unfortunately be more prevalent.
It does make you wonder what this is all about, as I relate back to a story where a federal judge had to step in and slap the hands of Mike Leavitt with trying to get funds cut immediately instead of letting Congress do it's thing and had no feelings what so ever about cutting the funds to hospitals in California. This does not make the type of action seen above right by any means, it's just that when there's not enough money and too much stress put on the system, something has to give, and in my opinion it has given on both sides and the real losers are the consumers and healthcare individuals who strive to give good medical care under some very uncertain and restraining conditions. BD