July 1, 2009
I’ve often asserted that doctors exploit people for personal profit, prescribing drugs and procedures that are medically unnecessary while raking in millions from health insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid. This week, Miami doctor Roberto Rodriguez was sentenced to eight years in prison — and ordered to pay $9 million back to Medicare — for doing exactly that.
According to press reports, Dr. Rodriguez conspired with five other medical professionals to recruit patients, diagnose them with HIV, then forge false records for HIV treatment services that earned them millions of dollars in Medicare reimbursements. From October 2003 through February 2006, the team of doctors bilked Medicare (and taxpayers) for $20 million in false claims. (One of the co-conspirators — Dr. Carmen del Cueto — will be sentenced in September.)
But here’s the best part: This fraud wasn’t limited to just one medical clinic. Dr. Rodriguez was the medical director for five additional Miami-based HIV infusion clinics where the same fraud continued to the tune of millions of dollars.
As you learn all this, keep in mind that both of these fraudsters were state-licensed medical doctors, granted the right to prescribe dangerous (even deadly) chemicals to infants, children and senior citizens. These are people who went to medical school, who passed the graduation exams, and who were entrusted with the health of patients by “conventional medicine” licensing boards.