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Rick Scott's role in Columbia/HCA scandal

The Miami Herald looks today at Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott's role in the Medicaid fraud case at his former company.

``As I have said repeatedly, Columbia/HCA made mistakes, and I take responsibility for what happened on my watch as CEO,'' Scott said in a written statement Friday. He has denied knowing frauds were taking place while he was there, and he was never charged with any crimes.

However, federal investigators found that Scott took part in business practices at Columbia/HCA that were later found to be illegal -- specifically, that Scott and other executives offered financial incentives to doctors in exchange for patient referrals, in violation of federal law, according to lawsuits the Justice Department filed against the company in 2001.

The doctor payments were among 10 different kinds of fraud identified by the Justice Department in its 10-year probe of the company, records show. Three years after Scott left Columbia/HCA, the company admitted wrongdoing, pleading guilty to 14 felonies -- most committed during Scott's tenure -- in addition to paying two sets of fines totaling $1.7 billion...

Whether or not Scott was aware of his company's questionable conduct, the breadth of the problems raises questions about Scott's leadership, management experts say.

Nell Minow of the Corporate Library, a watchdog group, put it this way: ``Being ignorant of all that doesn't inspire confidence.'' In judging a CEO, she said, ``it's no better to be a schnook than a crook.''

The key question for Scott is whether he can persuade voters that he deserves to be chief executive of Florida while at the same time insisting that he knew nothing about the greatest Medicare fraud in American history as it happened under his nose.

Full story here.

Comments

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whasup

He's a conniving, lying, thief-doens't that qualify him for high elective office in corrupt Florida?

He says he "takes personal responsibility" for the criminal frauds his compay perpetrated, while stealing money from taxpayers and granny's health care money.

Words mean squat. Let him take personal responsibility by paying back to the federal treasury from his personal funds.

To calculate the amount of responsiblity, he should total HCA/Columbia's revenue from government spending programs while he was there. He should calculate the $1.7 billion in fines as a percentage of that.

Then he should total his own income and other earnings from HCA/Columbia during his tenure, and pay that same percentage of his own money, plus interest.

That action would demonstrate taking personal responsibility. But he won't because he's a rich boy, who has got his, and he ain't paying his ill-gotten money back.

Fran912

I'm a nurse and I have yet to meet any physician or nurse who worked at Columbia/HCA who would vote for him. Whatever happened to vicarious liability?

Muckraker

Here is a different take. First, ANYONE who has dealt with Medicare knows that it is ineptly managed and is, above a bureaucracy with conflicting rules. Give n that toxic atmosphere, Mother Teresa would wind up doing 5-10 in Joliet.

http://www.bloggybayou.com/2010/06/time-for-real-change-in-florida.html

It's more complicated AND Political than the Miami Herald is letting on.

Cheers

whasup

It's true that the greatest evil here is the federal bureaucracy that administers the big government health care programs.

And Obama will create more such bureaucratic evil with his health insurance "reform" program, just to pump more money into the maw of the health care-industrial complex.

But consciously, intentionally misusing and abusing that evil system, through fraud and theft, is equally evil--as is Rick Scott.

Defending himself and his company by saying "everyone else is doing it" is key point. That shows that Rick Scott has the ethical character of a child, a felon, and the worst of our lawyers.

Oh, but that's right. He is a frakking lawyer. Explains a lot, don't it?

Get Real

One of two things must be true:

1. He had no idea what was going on, and was essentially asleep at the wheel of the worlds largest hospital chain.

2. He knew exactly what was going on and is a total and complete crook.

So the way I see it, he is either incompetent or morally bankrupt. Either way, he should not be running our beloved State.

lee

I am a SWFl physician who admitted at one of the Columbia HCA hospitals during the 90's. I was not employed by the hospital but had privledges there. I believe Mr Scott has been unfairly characterised in his involvement (physician incentives). Although I had no business association, I had associates who were recruited into town with gaurentted salaries, "sweetheart rents" and loaner office equiptment, which in the mid-90s violated the stark agreement. Those associations wouldn't hold a candle to the sweetheart loans several senators received from Countrywide bank. Also if Colombia/HCA had developed a hospital owned physician group, NONE of it would have been illegal.

Roger Titcomb

I would like to see an investigative report dig deep into the connection between conservative republicans and Universal Orlando. A few years ago there was a meeting in Orlando of the conservative right wing share holders and a statement regarding MSNBC and political commentators for not being critical enough of President Obama. I can tell you from having worked there for many years that the policies that the this creepy place expouses to uphold are not upheld. That in private this company is racist, sexist, and of course anti-union in a big way.

DB

Great job Florida... You get the government you deserve! Why does it alway feel like the corporations are winning, and the people are losing?

NANCY MITCHELL

LET US PUT PRESSURE ON THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO INDICT RICK SCOTT FOR THE MEDICAID FRAUD. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS HAS RUN OUT YET ON HIS CRIMES. HE TOOK THE FIFTH 75 TIMES. HE IS A CROOK. WE CAN'T RECALL HIM AS GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA. LET US JUST PRESSURE THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO DO THEIR JOB AND PUT HIM IN FEDERAL PRISON.

Amelia McCullough

Rick Scott is doing it again....raping the people of Florida ...how u say...pee pee scam...see all state workers have to take a pee pee test.
Now guess what medical agency will do the testing...his...oh...his wife..he signed his company over to her...in her name...big ...f- in deal...he still runs the company but on paper his look legal..now the welfare applicants must take a pee pee test too. At his Scott place...he will make even more money on the backs of the poor and disable. Should the Justice Department look into this....it's just wrong.

He only got into offic to ripe of the people of Florida. He is raping the citizen of the state....he will be 5 times richer when he leaves office...will someone please do something to stop him.

Hugh Shrager

What is interesting about the controversy with Rick Scott is that we don’t know the entire truth. In addition if you are involved in criminal activity is that the person you want to vote into office? What concerns me about all of this is at the end of the day the people of Florida picked Rick Scott. We new that there were issues and we ignored them.
I am amazed that we continue to do this all the time you would think that before we make a choice that we take the time to learn all the facts and listening to Fox or MSNBC is not a good source.
Do your homework and demand the truth and if they don’t give it to you than say no to selecting them

Lee the Web Guy

Looks like the Miami Herald has expunged the WHOLE story from their site.

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