Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rubbing Medicare the Wrong Way

Medicare spends more than $3.5 billion a year on physical therapy, but you gotta wonder when one doc collects more than $2.6 million over 2 years for back rubs and heat packs.

Dr. Christopher Wayne of Miami Beach likes to hang around with Paris Hilton and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith but even more than that he loves billing Medicare for 30 minute sessions of heat packs, massage and electrical stimulation.

Seems the folks at Medicare want to know more.

Dr. Wayne took in more than $1.2 million from Medicare in 2008, according to a person familiar with the matter, a large portion of it from physical therapy. That's more than 24 times the Medicare income of the average family doctor, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Medicare-claims data.

Wonder what tipped them off at CMS?

In 2009 he says he was placed on heightened scrutiny and eventually sold his business. But not until he had received more than $2.6 million from Medicare between 2007 and 2009, according to the person familiar with the matter.

Heightened security.

Seems to me it is more difficult to board a plane than it is to get money from Medicare.

A second doctor in Florida who pocketed more than $1.8 million from Medicare in 2007, much of it from physical therapy on patients with an extremely rare condition. Even after a Medicare antifraud contractor flagged this doctor, the agency paid him at least $6.7 million over more than two years

Do you get the idea maybe the folks in Washington really don't care what they do with OUR money? Or are they just that incompetent?

To protect law-abiding doctors and hospitals—the vast majority—Medicare is required to pay nearly everybody within 30 days. Medicare says it is reluctant to suspend payments to providers who may have made honest mistakes, out of concern that beneficiaries might go without needed treatment.

Honest mistakes? That just doesn't wash with me.

And these folks plan to take over the entire health care system. Frightening to say the least.

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