NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
For Immediate Release: July 14, 2010
You Can’t Argue With Success: Call Rick Scott as an “Expert Witness” at Healthcare Fraud Summit in Miami
The federal government will kick-off a series of healthcare fraud prevention summits on Friday and hold the first one in Miami due to the magnitude of the Medicare corruption in South Florida. We think an expert witness for Secretary Sebelius should be Republican Gubernatorial frontrunner Rick Scott, given his firsthand knowledge and involvement in Medicare fraud at his own company.
“It’s hard to argue with success, so Rick Scott should be the number one expert witness at this healthcare fraud summit,” said Eric Jotkoff, spokesperson of the Florida Democratic Party. “Since he oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in American history, it’s ironic that Rick Scott now wants to govern the state that has the most prevalent healthcare fraud issue in the country.”
This conference comes as Rick Scott faces rising criticism over his record as CEO of Columbia/HCA. Scott was forced to resign from the health care company amidst numerous fraud charges. The company went on to plead guilty to 14 felonies and pay $1.7 billion in criminal and civil penalties – the largest Medicare fraud in the nation’s history. Also, the Herald/Times recently reported that “federal investigators found that Scott took part in business practices at Columbia/HCA that were later found to be illegal.” (St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald, 6/26/10)
“The fact that the first regional summit is taking place in Miami only emphasizes how severe a problem Medicare fraud is in Florida,” Jotkoff added. “Floridians need to trust that their next Governor will work to crack down on healthcare fraud — how could they ever trust Rick Scott to do that given his disgraceful record?”
According to the Miami Herald, the amount Florida healthcare facilities bill Medicare is dramatically higher than other states, with officials saying the only logical explanation for the discrepancy being fraud. The article notes South Florida has long been considered “the nation’s epicenter of Medicare corruption.” For instance, the Herald reported that in 2008, Medicare paid $520 million to facilities in Miami-Dade for treating patients suffering from diabetes, an amount higher than Medicare pays for the rest of the nation combined. (Miami Herald, 7/13/10)