KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Fraud And Abuse Cases Come To Conclusions

Los Angeles Times: "A man who recruited destitute HIV patients to be straw purchasers in a prescription drug scheme was convicted by a federal jury Tuesday in Los Angeles. Nathaniel Newhouse, 53, showed no expression as the verdict was read in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson." Newhouse was caught with 29 bottles of powerful painkillers two years ago. Investigators said they had a street value of up to $80,000. HIV patients arranged for doctors to prescribe the drugs, which were passed on to Newhouse (Glover, 5/19).

The Boston Globe: "A federal judge has ruled Medicare acted properly in 2007 when it revoked the billing rights of a Boston dermatologist who has helped hundreds of patients with rare skin diseases, but also pleaded guilty to backdating letters and falsifying medical tests in what he said was an effort to get insurance coverage for patients." Some patients consider Ahmed "a hero" for helping people with experimental treatments, but after admitting to falsifying records for 94 patients, Medicare revoked his billing privileges. After his guilty plea, he was sentenced to provide 400 hours of free medical care and serve two years of probation (Weisman, 5/19).

The Associated Press/Miami Herald: "A Boynton Beach hospital is one of 18 that will pay settlements for overcharging Medicare for a back procedure. The Palm Beach Post reports that Bethesda Memorial Hospital will pay $350,000 as part of the settlement announced Monday with the Justice Department. A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment on pending litigation" (5/18).

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