EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif., Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Consejo de Latinos Unidos (CDLU), a Hispanic consumer advocacy group and public charity, ripped into Molina Healthcare of California for allegedly not paying Latino physicians their "enhanced payments" due to them from the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
In a stinging letter to the head of investigations of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, K.B. Forbes, the Executive Director of the Consejo wrote, "Economic racism cannot be tolerated. Molina appears to be engaged in grossly deceptive and egregious behavior. We ask for an unprecedented but immediate investigation of Molina's financial scheme of sitting on federal funds and underpaying Latino physicians and others."
Last Friday, renowned whistleblower attorney Brian Mahany, filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Manuel I. Figueroa, a physician who has practiced for over 50-years in the barrios of East Los Angeles, and whose only "enhanced payment" before April of 2016 from Molina was a mere $80.18. "Molina Health has pocketed millions of dollars belonging to hard working physicians. Ironically, the doctors who are serving the poorest and most vulnerable populations are the ones not getting paid," Mahany declared.
The Affordable Care Act allowed doctors performing certain medical services for low income patients under Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California) to be paid at same rate as those services if billed to Medicare. The two-year "enhanced payments" program operated between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.
Hundreds or thousands of other doctors also may not have been properly paid by Molina. "With annual revenues of over $14 billion, Molina can easily afford to pay its providers what the law requires," Mahany remarked, adding, "Some doctors have been waiting since 2013 to get paid!"
"Consejo has been investigating these allegations since 2015, and working with Brian Mahany, we hope to obtain fair compensation with interest to these physicians," Forbes said. "We also hope a probe by the OIG will discourage other insurance companies from abusing providers financially," he added.
A decade ago, Consejo spurred three U.S. Congressional hearings and numerous national media stories on the issue of hospitals overcharging uninsured Latinos and others. After an appearance on CBS' 60 Minutes, Consejo brought the issue of hospital price gouging to an end when the American Hospital Association raised the white flag and called on their members to charge the uninsured no more than Medicare rates plus 25 percent.
K.B. Forbes 202.320.1212 text or call
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SOURCE Consejo de Latinos Unidos