boards may investigate complaints, but they do not provide oversight and supervision of healthcare delivery. Medicine, so the story goes, is trusted to regulate itself.
so, without a regulatory system in place, there was no way for the public to
know whether any changes that Columbia University announced were fundamental
or just cosmetic. There was no way for the public to know just how dangerous
the situation was.
It will be of interest for the reader to know that in December of 2006, Mr. Hevesi resigned his position as Comptroller of the State of New York rather than face indictment and possible prison time for fraud. He admitted to the unlawful use of a State car and driver for his own personal purposes at a cost to the State of well over $200,000.
When this crime was uncovered, Mr. Hevesi wanted the same deal he had given Columbia University 10 years previously. That is, he wanted to be able to just return the money and go back to business as usual with the rationale that his fraudulent behavior was “just an aberration.”
This time, however, there was a prosecutor who was not buying Mr.
Hevesi was given a deal to either resign or face indictment.
A Vulnerable Population
So it was that 8 years after the Hevesi audit, a whistleblower came forward at the same prestigious New York City medical center to ‘blow the whistle’ on a particularly egregious example of endangerment of public safety.
At the Allen Pavilion division of the New York Presbyterian Medical Center,
the Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology concocted a
double-billing Medicaid scam that ran for more than 10 years (most likely
with the approval of the "higher ups").
A summary of the
Federal complaint provides complete details.
The essence of the scam was that bills were sent to
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