He knew: Scott was warned that Columbia/HCA practices could be illegal **UPDATE: Team Sink responds
Rick Scott says he would have put a stop to the record Medicare (plus TRICARE and Medicaid) fraud committed by his company, Columbia/HCA, had he been aware of it. Well, about that not being aware…
From the Times/Herald Sunday:
Rick Scott has said he would have immediately stopped his former hospital company from committing Medicare fraud — if only “somebody told me something was wrong.”
But he was cautioned year after year that the financial incentives Columbia/HCA offered doctors could run afoul of a federal antikickback law that seeks to limit conflicts of interest in Medicare and Medicaid.
They were contained in the company’s annual public reports to stockholders that Scott, now the Republican candidate for Florida governor, signed as Columbia/HCA’s president and chief executive officer.
“Certain of the Company’s current arrangements with physicians … risk scrutiny” from investigators and “may be subject to enforcement action,” the 1994 report said — a precaution echoed over the years in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Scott today says he doesn’t remember the reports he signed, but that the warning language sounded like “boilerplate, written by SEC lawyers just to cover all bases.” Indeed, the precautions mirrored those issued by some other health care companies.Sort of like Scott doesn’t remember whether he wrote a six-figure check to cover the discrepancy between what’s in his campaign account, and what the Scott-Carroll campaign just spent buying TV ads …
Read the entire SPT/Herald article here. Meanwhile, Michael Bender, now with the Palm Beach Post, digs into Scott’s new company, Solantic.
Tampa, FL – The Times/Herald reported today that during his tenure as hospital CEO , disgraced executive Rick Scott was repeatedly warned of possible illegal practices at his hospitals — and even signed yearly reports acknowledging kickback schemes. While Scott claims he would have stopped the massive, systemic fraud if he had known about it, these new documents taken with the Department of Justice case show Scott was keenly aware and deeply involved. This breaking news is just the latest example of how much Rick Scott is hiding from the people of Florida.
“Year after year Rick Scott signed documents acknowledging the misdeeds of his company, removing any last shred of credibility he had in his weak attempts to defend the illegal misconduct he oversaw at his hospitals,” said Kyra Jennings, spokesperson for Alex Sink for Governor. “Floridians deserve better than a Governor who chooses to ignore warnings that he might be breaking the law, turned a blind eye to illegal kickbacks, and used legal maneuvering to avoid being questioned by the FBI. This latest information about Rick Scott’s connections to the historic, systemic, fraud happening at his company for years shows once again just how much he is hiding his record from the people of Florida.”
SCOTT’S LIES DON’T MATCH REALITY:
Rick Scott Lie #1:“Scott says he didn’t do anything wrong and wanted to fight the charges long before the hospital board settled the case without trial. ‘I believed we were doing the right things,’ he said, though Scott has acknowledged he was focused more on buying hospitals and performance than compliance.”
“Rick Scott has said he would have immediately stopped his former hospital company from committing Medicare fraud — if only ‘somebody told me something was wrong.’”
Rick Scott Reality:
Rick Scott Reality:
“Federal investigators also said Scott knew about the doctor payments, court records show. In its lawsuit, the Justice Department said Scott personally told doctors that their payments from the company would increase with the number of patient referrals. Scott and other executives paid as much as $5,000 to doctors to cover their investments with Columbia — loans never repaid by doctors, the suit says.”
Rick Scott Lie #3:
Rick Scott Lie #4:
“In June, [Scott] told a Herald/Times reporter that he never met with Jerre Frazier, a company attorney, who said he warned Scott of potential ‘compliance issues.’ ‘I don’t believe that ever happened,’ Scott said. ‘If somebody told me something was wrong, I would have done everything to fix it.’”
Rick Scott Reality:
“Frazier insists the meeting took place, albeit toward the end of Scott’s reign at HCA.”