To continue with the theme of “smart people doing stupid things”, earlier this week more than one dozen doctors were charged in an alleged kickback scheme. The illegal payments ranged from $200 to $5,000. Once again, we have to wonder why these doctors would potentially risk their careers over what is most likely an insignificant amount of money in their lives.
The rising cost of healthcare is something that has been in the spotlight for the last few years and these are the types of illegal transactions that need to rooted out. The referrals were mostly for Medicaid and Medicare patients.
One of the problems identifying these types of transactions is that you can not compare the Medicare and Medicaid populations against the private insurance population due to the nature of the fact that the older generation that qualify for Medicare as well as the sick population that would qualify for Medicaid would naturally make them use more healthcare. Using under cover investigations does seem like a good way to root out some of the problems.
Doctors are one of the most trusted professions in America according to a 2010 Gallup poll. It is a shame that even among the most trusted groups of people, we really can’t trust anyone.