Monday, July 27, 2009

Lawsuit Alleges Medicaid Fraud In Michigan Child Welfare System

The Michigan Citizen
July 27, 2009

HAMTRAMCK, MICHIGAN — Michigan Children’s Ombudsman Verlie Ruffin has failed to report violations of state and federal law to the state Attorney General in order to “cover-up” Medicaid fraud committed by individual state agents, and privately contracted agencies of the state, according to a lawsuit filed in April.

Questions surround Targeted Case Management, a Medicaid-funded program for state foster care, adoption, and juvenile delinquency.

The lawsuit, filed in the state Court of Appeals, further alleges that Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, defending the state Ombudsman, has failed to intervene in prosecuting Medicaid fraud in child welfare. Beverly Tran, who filed this action, is one of the candidates seeking the Hamtramck, Mich. office of city council.

Tran says that there has not been a single referral to the Attorney General since the office was created. She goes on to say that the state Auditor General has documented an estimated $1.8 billion in questionable and improper payments. “That’s why the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General to create the Health Care Fraud Enforcement Prevention Team (H.E.A.T.) and is now in Michigan.”

UPDATE: The Michigan Senate has announced that "there is evidence of ongoing and large scale Medicaid fraud.

Official Endorsement From Former Wayne County Auditor General

To my greatest honor, I have been formally endorsed by a man I consider as my inspiration for public office and a personal hero. Former Auditor General of Wayne County for 13 years, Brendan Dunleavy, has delivered his support of my candidacy with the greatest of enthusiasm.

With sincerity and serenity, I thank you, sir.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The League of Gloom and Doom

Wednesday evening was the first Candidate Forum graciously sponsored by the Hamtramck Block Club Association at the People's Community Center on Joseph Campau.

I had an absolute ball, even though I forgot to properly prepare catchy opening remarks; I will admit, I am a bit rusty at public speaking. I enjoyed the event because I was allowed my first opportunity to personally engage a gathering of people by handing out my perfume scented personal campaign fliers. Along with the name TRAN, the voters have a redolent recall of a scent for election day. Just call it my own little way of applying my years of study to the campaign. We shall see if I can get a journal article out of it.

Anyway, I had more fun listening to what I have labeled as The League of Gloom and Doom. If anyone can remember the DC Comics Superheroes Justice League, this is my spin on the rhetoric of the other candidates.

Everything was about how horrible the city is. I just do not understand why, I was the only one who saw the beauty and potential of this unique municipal enclave. The scowling faces of each candidate keep a glowing smile on my face knowing what the city needs more than ever is the inspiration of happiness and success. Beauty of the spirit and the body of the city is a powerful tool, one I shall be promoting daily, even after the election.

Now, I can lead you into the heart of my campaign.

My son and I made a few campaign signs with some gathered material hiding around the house. I want to see if it is possible to run a primary campaign on no-cost or low-cost. So far so good as I am well under $100.00.

The League of Gloom and Doom has, on multiple occasions, pulled me over to side to chastise and ridicule me for not having thousands of dollars worth of fundraising to buy big signs. Big signs to post all over the city, most on homes they did not even ask for permission. This whole campaign seems to be fueled on who can get the most signs out. I somewhat take this mentality as an insult to the intelligence of the voters.

Why you may ask, well, let me tell you.

On my trusty Brother's black and white printer (I should get some campaign support from the company for mentioning this), I printed out fliers. Then, wherever I go, I hand them out, perfumed and all, to just about every person who crosses my path on the street. But what I include with the ceremonious handing of my flier is the personal invitation for each person who is in receipt of my scented campaign literature, to participate in the political process of my election to tell their friends, family, and neighbors about my run for office. So many people have opened their hearts to my request that they take a few extra fliers and pass them out for me.

The League of Gloom and Doom continuously harps on the premise that "85%" (notice how I put it in quotations) of the people of Hamtramck are computer illiterate.

My response to this is, "What are we going to do about it?" Silence abounds from the League of Gloom and Doom.

Here is my position: I want to bring the city into the 21st century with technology.

If anyone has ever noticed, the Hamtramck website, according to a certain official, is, "Woefully inadequate." Check it out: City of Hamtramck

Hamtramck is going to eventually provide internet accessibility throughout the entire city. Well, no time like the present to start utilizing the power of internet by empowering that "85%" to use computers. Simple programs to be put together to bring in free computers or discounted computers for residents, the same way one can purchase a club lock for your car at a discounted rate from the city. Simple workshops that could be put on by local organizations, with the potential to be funded through the solicitation of grants, to educate those interested in how to access the internet.

In addition, there will be a substantial reduction in cost:

(1) When it comes to the transmission of information to the citizens of the city. With a simple click, you have what I love to call The Art of TAO: Transparency, Accountability, and Oversight. (Book coming out soon, very soon.)

(2) The responsibilities of the City Manager are now streamlined in conducting cost/benefit analyses, with real-time, open participation with other city officials and citizens.

(3) With a functionally efficient and effective internet presence, Hamtramck is able to promote itself on a global level, inviting new and even more diverse economic presence.

I actually set up, yes, another social experiment, just to see the potential of internet accessibility of city documents. As a one-stop-shop for those entities interested in exploring the possibility of investing in the city, I put all the pertinent information for initial investigation all in one place. So far, the results are wonderful! You can check it out by clicking the white "scribd" button to the left on this site.

(4) My campaign is virtual and this is the reason why: I have a powerful following of my activities which is in no way strictly exclusive to Hamtramck. As an elected official, one of the roles is to represent to people. Nobody ever said that representation had to be mutually exclusive to the city limits. I represent, or rather will formally represent the city as an elected official, throughout the Wayne County, throughout the State of Michigan, throughout the United States of America, throughout North America, throughout the Western Hemisphere, and throughout the World.

(5) If you have not taken the time to notice, in the upper right hand corner of this site, there is a little "chicklet" called google translate. With a click of the "badge", you can find one of the 34 offered languages and translate the entire page. Try it, its lots of fun.

(By the way for those who did not know, the words in quotations are sample of internet terminology. Just taught you something new, ha!)

(6) With an internet presence, Hamtramck will possess the ability to "target and capture" existing federal funding and new stimulus federal funding. The abilities are not centralized in the databases that will and should be created, but with the paving of cyber-avenues (yes, I just coined that term) to engage in collaborative partnerships, consortia, and network with other public agencies, (i.e. universities, think tanks, local, state, federal, international governments).

(7) Last, but not least, the ones who are able to access the internet and find their way to this blog will be able, by word of mouth and the sharing of a computer screen, plant the seeds of interest to want to learn more about computers and the internet.

I am re-writing the order of operations for a campaign and the role of an elected official, and having a ball doing it!

The citizenry stands together, many in body, yet one in the beautiful spirit of Hamtramck, and that, my dears, is why I am running for City Council.

So, as for The League of Gloom and Doom, get over it! I am here to stay!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Original Concept Of "Thinking Outside The Box"

Just thought I would share a bit of literature and entertainment I enjoy.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Attempt At Informing The Polish Speaking Voters

Hamtramck Miasta kandydujące, 2009 kampanii Centrala:
9725 Conant, Hamtramck, MI 48212

Beverly Tran, analityk polityczny, jest matką Liam, wieku 9 i Adrian, wieku 15 lat. Jej oddanie do maksymalizacji korzystnej przyszłości dzieci doprowadził ją do jej uzyskania Bachelor of Arts in Industrial / Organizational Psychology z Mniejsze w organizacyjna Komunikacja z University of Michigan-Dearborn i pełne jej doktoranckie w kursach nauki polityczne, koncentrując się w badania Metodologie

Tran był przewodniczącym Hamtramck South End Block Club, siedział na Miasto Wyczyść Komitetu, jest częścią działań policji. Ma otwartej komunikacji ze społeczeństwem oraz Szkoły Policji, ponieważ ona jest silnym zwolennikiem zwiększenia zasobów nieletnich.

Ona wcześniej koordynowała Detroit Policji Junior Cadet Program prac wykonawczych umiejętności i kolegium przygotowania zawodowego. Tran jest szkolony przez Michigan Department of Civil Rights pociąg z lokalnymi organami ścigania w tle nienawiści akcesoria i współpracuje z Michigan Departament Prokuratora Generalnego i Naczelnego Trybunał do nowych sądów i nowych aktów prawnych.

Jako Miasto Councilwoman, będzie oddanie jej do użytku przez doświadczenie kierowania i zdobywanie funduszy federalnych i państwowych w celu poprawy gospodarki poprzez zwiększenie nacisku na Śródmieście Rozwoju Urzędu obejmują całego miasta, tak aby wszystkie podmioty gospodarcze mogą uczestniczyć i korzystać z jej działalności , marketingu miasta z jego historycznej perspektywie do międzynarodowego przemysłu filmowego w miejscu lokalizacji i międzynarodowych deweloperów i zachęcać entrepreneurialship z młodzieżą i rodzicami.

Dziękuję. Jak to zrobić?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How Come We Do Not Get To Host Events?

This week, the PAH-FEST is at Madonna College. This is Christopher Coppola's non-profit film project. People, even kids, go and shoot a short film of an idea. Hollywood "coaches" assist in the edit. Then, there is an online celebrity judging contest, complete with prizes. The winning films are then shown in the community.

This is so cool. Why can't Hamtramck host something like this?

Wait, I know why!

We have no venue for something such as this. We need a facility and we could put it along Hamtramck Drive. We could build a multiplex convention center with, dare I say, an hotel, with affordable and sustainable housing green walk through clusters where the first floor are shops.

We could target and capture federal funding that is just sitting there with the city's name on it and use it to contract the project. Then we could mandate the contractors hire a certain percentage of residents and, what the heck, go so far as to mandate youth employment?

We could finally upgrade the city website to promote the project internationally.

Then, we could invite the PAH-FEST and make films to show the world how cool the city is.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Privatization Can Be Fiscally Responsible

The Detroit News

This was published 10/31/07 06:09 PM

The Governor should embrace with joy the championing of privatization of foster care and adoption services by Senator Hardiman. This is what we all have been awaiting.
Privatizing foster care and adoption services releases the constraints of enforcement within the executive branch. The Attorney General is now able to flick the switch of the oversight machine and provide accountability for the state and its families. This is what is to happen:

The responsibility of contract monitoring and compliance is transferred from DHS back into the hands of the Attorney General. For example, families whose children have been removed where privatized agencies do not believe in family reunification, can now file complaints with the Attorney General regarding protection of consumer rights. The Bureau of Children and Family Services Fraud Division may now protect, not just vulnerable adults, but vulnerable children and families.

When the Attorney General conducts investigations and finds material violations of law and policy by the privatized child placing agencies, he is now allowed to follow through with full prosecution of the agencies and their workers.

In turn, families are provided proactive services, there are no longer phantom programs funded by DHS, tens of millions of dollars in improper payments of improper, unneccessary services and placements of children in foster care are ameliorated.
The number of children entering foster care are reduced because privatized child placing agencies must promote and advocate for placement of children within the family which is more cost effective than having a child prescribed psychiatric medication to "calm" from the trauma of being ripped from his/her home and placed in a strangers home, further reducing medicaid waste and fraud.

Privatized child placing agencies, under the theory of punishment by deterrence, will produce accurate and transparent audit reports, simply from the fear of prosecution.
Practices of targeting minority and impoverished children, due to the fact that child abuse and neglect is an entitlement program, will cease in the face of civil rights penalties.

Michigan will become a model state for accountability and transparency by reducing dependency of federal funding streams in Social Security. The money saved by privatized child placing agencies can be invested in education, thus, replacing the state's number one industry (Human Services) with higher education.
Michigan is no longer liable for litigation. The Executive Office is no longer a demagogue to privatized child placing agencies who also lobby (many without proper IRS status), but becomes the fiscal savior of our families.

Everyone wins...except the privatized child placing agencies that violate federal and state laws and policies, under color of state law.

Beverly Tran

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fiscal Fiasco

Fri. 07/10/09 07:59 AM
The Detroit News

Survey Tax: cut to close deficit

If the state continues to minimize the budget crisis by limiting its options to "cut and tax", we are in for a bumpy ride.

There are other ways of addressing the fiscal fiasco. The first, and foremost would be to implement some oversight mechanisms for Medicaid funded programs. In particular, I speak of those social programs that are protected under the Freedom of Information Act. The top of the list would be the state's child welfare system because anything dealing with children's issues are sequestered from public scrutiny.

As these programs function devoid of any accountability, the first instance would be to effectuate financial sanctions and contractual debarment with privatized agencies. Then, as most privatized agencies operate as not-for-profit, they are excluded from external audits. The largest federally funded component of child welfare is not the Social Security Title IV-E, as everyone would like to believe, it is Medicaid: Targeted Case Management.

Secondly, the state needs to decrease its percentage in the federal formula for Medicaid funding. Right now it is at 50%. It seems it is more cost effective for the state to continue sinking money into a dysfunctional child welfare system than come into federal compliance with its operations, such as enforcing existing accountability statutes in dealing with fraud. Even though there is a resounding paranoia of violating the federal settlement agreement, only dealing with a portion of the child welfare system, this is not justification for miserably failing to address waste and abuse by the funding of fraudulent activities.

Thirdly, Michigan needs to finally step up to the plate and start aggressively going after Medicaid fraud in child welfare. If the Attorney General is ever able to release himself from the statutory constraint of only advocating for transgressors of law, the recovery percentage of the federal portions of the fraud would be situated at 10%, bringing back in billions of lost funds from over the past few years.

Simply put, the state cannot prosecute itself. Michigan Federation for Children and Families, accredits the fraudulent activities of these privatized child placing agencies through its lobbying and non-existent continuous quality improvement operations.

Lastly, as Michigan is the only state that does not breakdown its Medicaid spending reports, no one knows how much is streamed through child welfare and adults. This means top heavy local administrations do not have to streamline the operations of child welfare because they are held accountable to nobody, not even the taxpayer. Basically, it's a "don't ask; don't tell" policy in dealing with waste, abuse, and fraud in child welfare.

The answer to this fiscal fiasco is sitting right under the noses of our state leaders, published in the State Auditor General Reports.

If the state will not do anything, then I will.

Beverly Tran

Hamtramck City Council Candidate
beverlytran, Michigan, MI

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Where Are The Children?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cox considers Medicaid fraud unit

Associated Press

The Detroit News

Lansing -- Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox wants the state to create an independent office to investigate Medicaid fraud.

Cox on Wednesday backed bills being drafted by Republican lawmakers in the Michigan Legislature. The bills would create an office with powers to oversee and audit Medicaid systems and records separate from the state's Department of Community Health.

Cox says that would lead to better enforcement and discovery of fraud, potentially saving the state more than $100 million a year. He says six other states have similar offices.

Cox is one of the candidates seeking to become the Republican nominee for governor in 2010.

What makes this item so interesting is that I thought the Attorney General was already receiving federal funding for this...

About The Health Care Fraud Division

Medicaid Fraud Control Unit

Medicaid, or the Medical Assistance Program, was established by Congress in 1965. The Medicaid Program is administered at the State level by the Medical Services Administration in the Department of Community Health. The Michigan Medicaid program, over $4.5 billion, is 50% funded by the Federal government and 50% funded by the State of Michigan. Medicaid helps eligible individuals and families who need assistance paying medical bills.

In 1977, the United States Congress recognized that fraud was occurring in the Medicaid program and that special investigative/prosecution units were required. As a result, legislation was passed providing for the establishment of state Medicaid Fraud Control units. In 1978, the Office of Attorney General created a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and it was certified by the Federal government the same year. In 1986, it became the Health Care Fraud Division of the Attorney General's office.

The division is comprised of attorneys, investigators, auditors, other professionals and support staff. Pursuant to Federal certification, it has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud and abuse and neglect in facilities receiving Medicaid dollars. The division also has jurisdiction to seek civil recovery of fraudulently obtained Medicaid dollars.

Health Care Fraud

The Health Care Fraud Division exists to identify, prosecute, and prevent fraudulent activity by doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and other health care providers participating in the Medicaid program. Allegations of misappropriation of patient trust funds and identity theft in resident care facilities are also investigated. Taxpayer dollars provide health care to indigent patients and other recipients. It is vital that these dollars be effectively spent to help those in need. Fraud affects everyone--the recipients of care, the taxpayers who pay for it, and the overwhelming majority of providers who conscientiously provide quality care.

Since its inception, the HCFD has obtained criminal restitution orders totaling $7,401,187.70; civil judgments totaling $11,082,643.53; and settlement agreements providing for the recovery of $3,137,154.65 to the Medicaid Program. In total, the HCFD has obtained court orders and settlements requiring the return of $21,620,985.88 to the Medicaid Program. Additionally, the HCFD has collected $1,131,397.15 from Medicaid providers to offset the HCFD's investigation and prosecution costs.

Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect

The worth of a society is often measured by the care and protection afforded to its weak and dependent members. No one should live in fear of being harmed, especially by persons legally charged with and paid for attending to his or her needs. The Health Care Fraud Division investigates and prosecutes Medicaid-funded health care facilities and their employees who harm or neglect their patients or residents.

Not every instance of patient injury is the result of a crime. Inappropriate non-criminal treatment to a patient or resident of a health care facility should be reported to the facility through the administrator, director of nursing, or the charge nurse, AND to the Department of Community Health, which has a statutory obligation to monitor and assess the care rendered to patients.

Now, what's wrong with this picture?

HINT: There are no children.