Abusive Medicaid Fraud Prosecution Exposed

Dec 08, 2010, 13:56 ET from Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The worst abuses in government health programs may be by officials who press false charges. Threatening criminal prosecution to try to get a physician to pay monies amounts to "extortion," admitted one prosecutor in sworn testimony published in the winter 2010 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (http://www.jpands.org/vol15no4/becker.pdf).

That deposition was taken in the case of Becker v. Kroll, in which neurologist Taj Becker, M.D., sued the Utah Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) for its outrageous, abusive investigation and false statements about her. After a decade in court, she won at trial for defamation.

The case began with MCFU's allegation that Dr. Becker's billing codes were statistically higher than normal, based on the opinion of an "expert" nurse -- before reviewing the charts.

"There is no room here to review...the egregious fraud, statistical fabrications, and gross incompetence by the MFCU, which was apparently determined to find some fraud at any cost," writes Adolf Becker, the doctor's husband.

Criminal charges were filed against Dr. Becker, but eventually a newly appointed MFCU director moved to have them all dismissed. He later testified in deposition that if he had known of extortion by the MFCU, he would never have joined the unit. Such "Gestapo tactics" as intimidating people into pleading guilty to something they haven't done, or paying civil fines to make a prosecution go away, are "absolutely inappropriate for any prosecutor's office."

Becker, who grew up in Soviet-occupied East Germany, felt compelled "to expose the ruinous chains fashioned by the government bureaucracy that not only ensnare physicians, but also choke American patient care."

The cost of resistance can be very high, he warns, but "in the final analysis it is a fight to restore lost freedoms to every American."

Becker advises physicians to drop out of Medicaid, and if they cannot entirely escape from Medicare, to reduce participation to a feasible minimum. The situation will only become worse with "healthcare reform" if "ObamaCare" is not repealed.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons filed an amicus brief in support of Dr. Becker (http://www.aapsonline.org/judicial/becker-6-05.pdf).

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SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)



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