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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Grinding Your Bones To Make Their Bread

First of all, all of this hoopla over "ObamaCare" is just that:
A Dog and Pony Show.

It will come, the 'investor class' wants it, and this feigned media brouhaha is just to convince the proletariat there is any real controversy.

Quick, Gertie, grab the smelling salts and clear the fainting couch, I think I've got the vapors.

There are three major healthcare providers that operate in this fetid country. You've probably heard about HCA, but lets cover one of the more recent Houston based, Republican oriented examples, the largest healthcare corporation in the country.

Meet Tenet Healthcare

Between 2002 and 2007, Tenet Healthcare, home office pictured above, has paid over 2 Billion dollars in fines and restitution for stockholders suits, Medicare fraud, patient overbilling, and ripping off their employees.

That's 2.15 Billion with a capital B.

Out of a measly 9 Billion in revenues.

Lets look at a short list of some of the more egregious infractions and the total fines for what they were CAUGHT doing between 2002 and 2007:

June 2002
Overcharging lab services
Overbilling at Brotman Medical Center Billing
Cost report violations since 1994
$17 million
$10 million
$29 million

Jan 2003
Pneumonia & Septicaemia upcoding
$4.3 million

Feb 2003 Coding issues in Florida
$4.15 million

Mar 2004
Failure to provide emergency care at Southpointe hospital
10 year old breach of contract settlement
$148 million

Mar 2005
North Ridge Medical Centre kickbacks settlement
$22.5 million

July 2004
Pays for failures in infection control at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida

Dec 2004
Settles with 106 patients from Palm Beach Gardens hospital in Florida
$31 million

Feb 2005 Settlement with insurer Healthnet
$28.5 million

Mar 2005
Tenet sets aside $30 million to repay uninsured patients
$30 million

July 2005
A series of payments to government, to patients and others by Tenet and
its doctors in relationship to unnecessary surgery at Redding Hospital
$500 million

Jan 2006
Settles actions by shareholders
$215 million

Feb 2006
Billing dispute in Florida
$7 million

May 2006
Settles Alvarado kickback case
$21 million

June 2006
Global settlement
Paying kickbacks
Upcoding payment
$900 million
$47 million
$46 million

Nov 2006
Past and still to pay settlement with tax office
$225 million

April 2007
SEC settlement
$10 million

Total $2.147 billion

There were millions more in fines before 2002, including a record setting $380 million for overbilling the government. And let's not forget the $54 million fine for unnecessary heart surgeries on over 600 patients in California.

So what did the government do, other than getting their cut? Nothing.
And what did the "health care provider" do to improve their image with the self-defeating marionettes inhabiting this country?

They hired Jeb Bush to sit on their board.

Jeb Bush joins board of Tenet Healthcare - 2007

And it was then business as usual. Again.

They spent $3.43 million on lobbying and paid no taxes during 2008-2010, instead getting $48 million in tax rebates, despite making a profit of $415 million, and increasing executive pay by 19% to $24 million in 2010 for its top 5 executives.

Yesterday, April 10th, they were hit with another $42 million dollar fine for, what else, Medicare fraud.

This is what the modern Republican party, and to a lesser degree, the Democratic party represents. And that son of privilege from Texas, Jeb Bush, is as complicit as they come. George was a misguided post-turtle, in over his head, but Jeb is tantamount to an organized racketeer. Gives one pause as to why Florida has become the largest contributor to Medicare/Medicaid fraud in the nation. And this is but one of the reasons they have not been parading Jeb around the country promoting the empty suit, skin and hair known as Mitt Romney - King of the Vulture Capitalists.

The vehement Republican stance against Medicare/Medicaid is a self-fulfilling prophecy based upon all of the fraud, price fixing and racketeering. They declare Medicare to be bankrupt and subsequently expend all efforts trying to make it so. Thus they become the only providers available. What has happened to Sherman anti-trust/anti-monopoly laws, anyway? They've been ignored by a party that constantly strives to provide quid pro quos to their largest contributors.

And now you also see why any controversy over ObamaCare/RomneyCare is BS. You have three companies, just like this one, that are chomping at the bit for a piece of the captive market share that is the American public. Just like the banks, telecoms, oil companies, cable, and auto insurance companies.

As one doctor aptly put it,
"They will grind up your bones to make their bread."


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