Via KevinMD I got to this story about the (lack of) take-up at a new in-store clinic run by TakeCare—kinda surprising as I think I’d be happy to go to one. But then with a bit of Googling around I found something that I’d missed. Rick Scott
has left the secure Federal facility in which he’s been spending the last ten years and is back in health care. Here’s what Milt Freudenheim wrote in the NY Times last month.
A clinic company with somewhat grander ambitions is Solantic. Its clinics are staffed by doctors and provide a wider range of services that include X-rays at $90 apiece (or two for $150). For routine services, Solantic’s prices may be slightly higher than at other clinics — $55 or more for a Solantic doctor visit compared with $45 to be seen by a nurse practitioner at a rival’s clinic. But having doctors on staff "dramatically increases the number of services we can provide to a patient," said Richard L. Scott, the chairman of Solantic, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla.Mr. Scott built Columbia- HCA Healthcare into the nation’s largest hospital chain. But in the late 1990’s, the company faced an array of charges that it had defrauded the government, charged private insurers for unnecessary tests and improperly paid kickbacks to referring doctors. The board forced Mr. Scott out, and the company paid billions of dollars in fines and penalties; Mr. Scott was never charged with wrongdoing. "I always wanted to create a clinic business when I was in the hospital business," Mr. Scott said.
This sounds fantastic. I just never knew that there was so much potential for up-coding and fraudulent Medicare billing in this brave new world of consumer-centric health care delivery. After all according to TakeCare, there’s not much appeal to the senior crowd so far:
Since its debut in October, Take Care has been bombarded by those in the generations accustomed to the quick fix. Thirty percent of its clients are between the ages of 19 and 35, and 33 percent are between 36 and 55. Only 13 percent of the patients are 55 and older.
But if Rick’s involved, then there must be! I hope his fellow investors are ready for the fines to come when there’s a less friendly Administration in power….but hey everyone knows that the big fish in corporate frauds never do hard time, do they? Well not in health care, anyway. Right, Mr Scrushy?