Some major developments in the medical field recently have given hope to those of us who wish for honesty and decency among health care professionals.
No, I’m not referring to the development of new drugs that would melt the fat off our bloated bodies or reverse the effects of the most dreaded forms of cancer.
I’m talking about first off the major roundup of Medicare cheats around the county. Among the 243 people arrested were 46 doctors, nurses and other professionals. They are charged with participating in a variety of fraud schemes and basically using Medicare and Medicaid as their personal cash registers.
Blame the government
It is hard to say that this doesn’t reflect poorly on medical practitioners. It certainly does on a few. But there are always going to be a certain percentage of crooks and cheats within any profession. No, in my opinion the blame rests squarely on our government.
Why is it so easy to take advantage of these entitlement programs? Why are they so poorly designed that enormous, expensive bureaucracies are needed to catch just a few of the countless fraudsters bilking the U.S. Treasury?
It’s time for a major overhaul of these programs that cover the poor and the elderly. Leave their benefits intact. Just make it more difficult on the thieves that take advantage.
The other development involves the increased enforcement of laws covering the abuse of prescription drugs.
Deaths from unnecessary pills
One doctor is accused of dispensing controlled substances to patients who didn’t have a legitimate medical need for such powerful pills. The result: Five people have allegedly died from using those unnecessary pills.
For good measure, this particular physician, who was passing out oxycodone and Methadone like candy, is also accused of improperly coding office visits in an apparent attempt to scam insurance programs. In for a penny, in for a pound.
In another pill mill type case, pain clinic operators, including two physicians and a pharmacist, are accused of dispensing diazepam, hydrocodone and oxycodone in ways that are far outside the scope of legitimate medical practice.
Court documents indicate that at least eight individuals were found dead after consuming medications prescribed and dispensed by the defendants.
Authorities can and should continue to weed out the bad apples from an otherwise ethical and admirable medical profession.