Interesting article about candidate for governor Rick Scott, the former CEO of Columbia/HCA, who resigned in scandal in 1997 amidst government investigators’ charges of a Medicare fraud scheme. The company admitted to “systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about how hospital space was being used.” The company’s facilities also increased Medicare billings by exaggerating the seriousness of the illnesses treated in its hospitals, and “granting doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA.” Clearly he was also involved in Medicare fraud by inflating cost reports.
Scott in 1987, bought a couple of hospitals with the help of financier Richard Rainwater and, took over HCA and built the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain. In 1997, Scott’s empire unraveled and he was forced to resign from the company. In 2001, he founded Solantic Corp., which operates a chain of urgent-care centers. Columbia/HCA only had to pay back $1.74 billion in fines and Rick Scott walked away with severance pay of $10 million, a 5-year consulting contract, and stock then valued at $300 million.
Fast forward to March 2009. Scott founded Conservatives for Patients Rights with $5 million of his own money “to promote free market healthcare reform.” The group opposed any reform of the health care industry. Scott’s campaign doesn’t understand the new legislation and refers to it as a “government takeover of healthcare.” Except Medicaid and Medicare and Veteran Administration are government programs and the baby boomers are getting older.