Friday, September 30, 2011

Mass. AG allege Medicaid fraud schemes cost $10M

Now imagine if the state actually went after Medicaid fraud in child welfare.

Mass. AG allege Medicaid fraud schemes cost $10M

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced indictments Friday against 10 people linked to a series of Medicaid fraud schemes that investigators say cheated taxpayers out of nearly $10 million.
The allegations included billing the state for care provided to dead patients, kickback schemes for unnecessary drug tests and claiming nursing home residents needed help walking and eating when they were able to do both on their own. In each case, investigators said the goal was to bilk MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program.
A total of 118 criminal indictments against 10 individuals have been handed down in the four cases.
Coakley said the indictments were returned Thursday by three grand juries including a special statewide grand jury and are the result of four major criminal investigations by the state Medicaid Fraud unit.
Coakley said the kind of fraud alleged in the indictments ultimately forces up health care costs for everyone in Massachusetts.
"It's like when people are shoplifting in a store, it's passed onto consumers," Coakley said Friday. "They might as well be walking over to MassHealth and taking money out of the state treasury."
The cases involved four private health care providers: Adlife Healthcare; Preventative Medicine AssociatesMitchell Counseling Services; and Wetterberg Nursing Homes, which ran the Pond View Nursing Facility in Boston.
In the case of Adlife, investigators allege that owner Sharon Richardson, 55, of Framingham and two employees billed MassHealth for approximately $5.5 million in services that were not provided.
Adlife is a group adult foster care provider for MassHealth with locations in Framingham, West Springfield, Boston and Hyannis.
Investigators' allege Adlife billed MassHealth for treating deceased individuals and individuals who never received services. Richardson is also accused of falsifying records submitted to MassHealth and working with two employees to destroy internal records to cover up the fraud.
Richardson was arrested Thursday. Her lawyer, Michael Stromsnes, declined comment.
The second set of indictments focus on a Brookline doctor, Punyamurtula Kishore, 61, and his company Preventative Medicine Associates, Inc., with 29 locations statewide.
Investigators said Kishore and three others orchestrated an elaborate drug screening kickback scheme and fraudulently billed MassHealth for nearly $3.8 million.
Coakley's office said Kishore used bribes to induce various so-called "sober homes" to send patients to his laboratories to perform unnecessary urine drug screens — as many as three a week — that were later billed to Medicaid. Investigators said drug screens are generally billed at between $100 and $200 each and Kishore billed MassHealth for tens of thousands of the tests.
Three managers or owners of the "sober homes" — New Horizon House in Boston, Marshall House in Malden and Gianna's House, which operates homes in Wareham, New Bedford and Sandwich — were also indicted.
Kishore was arraigned Wednesday in Malden District Court and later released after surrendering his passport.
Kishore's attorney said Kishore is "an extremely well-regarded member of the community" who denies the allegations.
The third alleged scheme defrauded MassHealth of $160,000 and involved David Benson, 48 of New Bedford and his company Mitchell Counseling Services.
Investigators said Benson, an independent clinical social worker, routinely billed for treatment that exceeded services provided to six patients. Coakley's office said Benson billed as if his patients were in need of acute care multiple times a week when they were being provided minimal care or no care at all.
A call to Mitchell Counseling Services wasn't answered Friday.
The final investigation resulted in an indictment against Carolyn Wetterberg, 70, of Weymouth for allegedly billing MassHealth more than $600,000 for services not provided.
Wetterberg was part owner and sole manager of Wetterberg Nursing Homes, Inc., which ran the Pond View Nursing Facility in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. The 43-bed long term care facility was shut down by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in June for poor quality of care.
Coakley's office said Wetterberg defrauded MassHealth by deliberately overstating the level of disabilities of those who lived in the facility, allowing her to bill for more than their care required.
Investigators said in some cases patients she claimed needed help walking were walking independently and those she claimed needed help eating were eating on their own.
A man who answered the phone at Wetterberg's home said she wasn't available for comment.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Michigan's Job Creation Plan For Families In Poverty

When Michigan's 29,000 children are cut off assistance on October 1st, the state already has implemented a multi-billion dollar jobs creation plan.  It's called foster parenting.

Michigan Department of Human Services, Spaulding for Children kick off I-CARE 365 campaign aimed at recruiting foster and adoptive parents
Contact:  Christina Fecher, media relations coordinator 517-373-7394 

Sept. 15, 2011

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Human Services, in partnership with Spaulding for Children, are proud to announce the kick-off event for a diligent campaign aimed at recruiting foster and adoptive parents in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties. The tri-county project is called Inter-Agency Community Adoption/foster Family Recruitment Exchange, I-CARE 365.

"The Oakland, Macomb and Wayne county offices of the Michigan Department of Human Services, along with our community partners at Spaulding for Children, are excited about receiving a $2 million federal grant," Oakland County DHS Director Susan Hull said.

"As we move forward from our planning year into implementation, we hope to learn new and innovative ways to recruit and retain quality foster and adoptive parents."
The event will be held at Spaulding for Children, 16250 Northland Dr., in Southfield, Mich. 48075 from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. 

The I-CARE 365 Project is a multi-faceted recruitment program designed to recruit, retain, train, utilize, and support a range of resource families for children and youth. Integrating the philosophy that recruitment should occur every day in all child welfare departments, the project will promote safety, permanence and well-being for Michigan children and increase positive permanency outcomes for children by:

- Increasing awareness of the need for resource families;
- Improving timely achievement of permanency goals for children;
- Increasing appropriate placement resources for teens, juvenile sex offenders, youth in residential treatment settings, youth in psychiatric in-patient settings, children with disabilities or other physical care needs, African Americans and large sibling groups; and
- Improving customer service and increasing retention rates among newly recruited resource families.
In July, there were 14,535 children in foster care statewide. Of those, 3,813 children were from Wayne County, 970 children were from Macomb County, and 775 children were from Oakland County.

Hull said the project will also emphasize public and private agency partnerships, the involvement of all similarly focused projects, and a data-driven evaluation that will result in a comprehensive evaluation report and assist in developing a replication manual.

This was the comment I left on the youtube site:

Steve Yager executes his duties with such a nefarious malfeasance that the state has adopted the culture of covering up the filing of federal false claims under his leadership.

Make sure you tell Steve Yager I said this before you delete my comment.

Engrain my name in your souls and your in speech. I am on a mission.

Beverly Tran

Study Shows Private Contractors Usually Cost More than Public Employees

Just think what would have been found if the report had access to data for child welfare services contracts of states.

Woooweee!  Talk about waste, fraud and abuse.

Study Shows Private Contractors Usually Cost More than Public Employees

Posted on September 27, 2011

Conventional wisdom in Washington dictates that the private sector can always provide services at a lower cost than the federal government. A new study from the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), however, turns conventional wisdom on its head, demonstrating that the government rarely reaps the purported benefits of lower costs through the outsourcing of service work. In fact, POGO found that, on average, the government pays service contractors more than 1.8 times the amount it pays federal employees with the same education, doing the same job and performing similar tasks.
From the beginning of the Republic, politicians have debated about the size of government. As the federal government became a larger, more expansive social welfare institution, President Dwight Eisenhower became the first modern president to establish a policy of outsourcing federal services if a commercial equivalent was available for less.
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan, guided by his conservative ideology, expanded the outsourcing of government services. The approach reached its zenith with the "yellow pages test," prescribing that the government contract out any service found in the phone book. Since the Reagan administration, Republican and Democratic presidents alike have promised to reduce duplication and inefficiencies in government, which is often code for reducing the size of the federal workforce.
As the total U.S. population has grown, the number of federal civilian workers as a share of the population has declined. However, since work still needs to be done, the government has turned to contractors to perform public work, creating an expensive and expanding "shadow government." POGO notes that the size of the federal workforce has remained relatively constant over the last decade at about 2.5 million, but "the contractor workforce has increased ... from an estimated 4.4 million to 7.6 million in 2005." Additionally, the government now spends over $320 billion on service contracts annually, representing roughly one-quarter of all discretionary spending.
Conservatives have argued that "privatizing" public sector work will save costs because of the "overgenerous" pay and "lavish" benefits of public employees. This argument, as POGO indicates, relies "on the theory that the government pays [prevailing] private sector compensation rates when it outsources services."
As POGO's study reveals, this is rarely the case. Rather, service contractors charge more than twice the going private sector compensation rate for comparable tasks; to be more specific, private contractors are, on average, paid more than 1.8 times the amount the federal government pays its own employees to perform similar functions.
POGO's study examined 35 different occupational classifications and compared the "full costs of federal employee annual compensation" with the "average annual contractor billing rates" for those tasks. In 33 out of the 35 classifications, service contractors charged more than it would cost for the federal government to perform the task in-house; in the most egregious examples, service contractors charged more than three times the cost of a federal employee to perform a similar task in one case and almost five times as much in another. In over a third of the jobs studied, service contractors charged the government more than twice what federal employees earned to perform similar work.
The occupational classifications span routine services like grounds keeping and quality assurance to functions like budget analysis and language specialization – "frequently used to perform intelligence functions" – that can fall between legitimate work the government can outsource and inherently governmental tasks that only a federal employee should perform.
POGO limited its investigation to the General Service Administration's (GSA) 35 occupational classifications because the federal government does not provide accurate data on "contractor employees who perform government functions at a particular department or agency at any given time."
POGO calls on Congress to require federal agencies to use a standard coding system when awarding contracts, "the collection, reporting, and oversight of life-cycle costs associated with government services," and "greater transparency and improved pricing on GSA Schedule service contracts." Lack of transparency will continue to limit the ability of the government and the public to determine how much money the government saves or wastes through outsourcing, or to correct any excessive costs incurred. However, the report does not make the case that the federal government should never utilize contractors to perform the examined functions. POGO's investigation simply found that on average, federal employees perform the vast majority of the given tasks for less than a comparable contractor employee.
In addition to collecting and reporting lifecycle costs and greater accuracy and transparency of service contractor numbers, Congress should eventually require the posting of all federal contracts online – with appropriate redactions of any proprietary information – and the creation of a more accessible Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), which provides contractor performance information. While the cost of contractor services and the raw numbers of contractors are important to determining whether the government is getting value for its dollars, the public deserves a full accounting of what contractors are getting paid and how they perform.
This is particularly true today, as the nation debates how to reduce government spending. Members of the Super Committee should think about reducing the amount spent on service contracts before considering funding cuts for important public programs that help keep Americans safe and healthy, like food inspection, child nutrition, and low-income housing.
Bad Business: Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors

Michigan Is Trying To Get Its Contracting Act Together

Here is a link to the most recently released Michigan Auditor General Follow Up Report on Department of Human Services Contracting.

It seems the state is trying to get itself together, but I still have serious questions surrounding child welfare services, which is classified as a different division.  As a matter of fact, it was the illustrious Bill Johnson of Michigan's Children Institute that was dabbling in the black art of child welfare contracting.

Please keep in mind as you read this report that the state still, to this day, has no mechanism of referral to the Attorney General if it is suspect of violations of material provisions of federal and state law or policy.

Here is a laundry list of what the state refuses to adopt and implement in child welfare services policy and its Medicaid Fraud Control Unit:

No contactual debarment

No license revocation

No sanctions

No recovery mechanism

No comparative rate policy

No bidding

Michigan Virtual Schools Senate Bill 691

I received a call today from Michigan Virtual Schools Family organization (200-200-0000) in support of the following bill to allow for virtual schools in the state.

This would allow children to attend school, 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, whenever is optimal for the individual child's learning.

It would also allow for expansion of funding opportunities for school districts.

Michigan Senate Bill For Virtual Schools

Here is a brief on the future direction of education.

I encourage the leaders to wake up and nurture the creativity and innovation of the people, including the children.  It seems the teacher unions are not in support of this.

Status quo has got to go.

Health Officials: Antipsychotic Drugs Given to Millions of Children are Very Dangerous

Health Officials: Antipsychotic Drugs Given to Millions of Children are Very Dangerous

pillsgirl1 210x131 Health Officials: Antipsychotic Drugs Given to Millions of Children are Very DangerousMillions of children have been put on antipsychotic drugs since 2009 alone. The number of children on these pharmaceuticals is becoming so astronomical that the U.S. pediatric health advisers are now speaking out against the known and unknown dangers of such widespread drugging of children nationwide. Doctors have become so eager to prescribe these drugs to patients that half of all citizens in the United States will be diagnosedwith a mental illness within their lifetime. What is even more nonsensical about the explosion in prescription antipsychotics is that there is hardly any scientific data to show that the drugs are effective at treating what they claim to, while there is significant amounts of research linkingantipsychotics to suicide, diabetes, weight gain, decreased life expectancy, and triggering an array of metabolic conditions.
Of course the link between suicide and antispychotic and anti-depressant drugs was completely covered up by Eli Lilly & Co, the makers of Prozac. Despite research conducted as far back as the 1980′s finding that Prozac actually leads to suicide, which is the very thing it is often prescribed to treat, the company hid the evidence until a Harvard psychiatrist leaked the information into the press. The psychiatrist, Martin Teicher, stated that the American people were being treated like guinea pigs in a massive pharmaceutical experiment.

In order to cover up their scandalous actions, the company set up false drug trials in an attempt to prove the safety of Prozac. Teicher explained how the company interfered with the research to produce false conclusions:
“They culled patients from their worldwide trials, they cherry-picked the studies, leaving out the trials showing problems.”
Since the 80′s, numerous studies have reached even more frightening conclusions regarding mental health pharmaceuticals. Ritalin, a very popular drug among unruly children, stimulates the central nervous system. As a biological response, conditions develop such as:
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased alertness
  • Suppressed appetite
Harry Hucknall, a 10 year-old boy, hung himself after taking a combination of Ritalin and Prozac. The tragic death was most likely a result of the pharmaceutical concoction, as the autopsy revealed his body to contain more drugs than the normal level for adults suffering from the same problems. Even the ‘normal’ amount of these drugs can ignite suicidal thoughts. Imagine a child coping with an amount far exceeding the levels required to treat an average adult.
Doctors who readily prescribe unnecessary and severely dangerous pharmaceuticals like Prozac and Ritalin are oftentimes more concerned about monetary kickbacks and benefits than the health of the patient. Instead of paying for harmful side effects, try a natural approach that is both free and effective:
  • Exercise: Proven to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, simply walking for 15 minutes per day can lead to noticeable changes in your mental clarity.
  • Detoxify: Rid the body of built-up chemicals and undigested food substances. Super hydrate yourself by drinking half your body weight in purified water, and consuming fresh raw vegetables for a week and see the difference. Detoxifying by performing various cleanses such as a colon cleanse, liver cleanse, or heavy metal cleanse can also be extremely beneficial. Performing cleanses will flush out the toxins which have accumulated in your body over the years

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jesse Jackson And His Oxymoronic Politics of Poverty

Speaking out for the poor is an honorable deed, but when you walk around with a protest sign against cutting state assistance that says:

"Protect The Kids"

You advocate for

Child Protective Services

This was Michigan's plan all along and you played right into their hands.  I am quite sure Governor Rick Snyder is celebrating the fabulous work you did for him.  I do so enjoy oxymoronic politics.
This is my comment to the article and yes, I took the picture.  Actually, it was quite funny because, every time he walked by, I would make comments like "funding shift, Targeted Case Management, uncapped reimbursements, foster care..." oh, the list went on and on.
Reverend Jesse Jackson,
Since you did not arrange to sit down and speak with the DHS Director Maura Corrigan to find out what the state plan is for families cut off assistance, let me make your life a little easier by summing it up with one simple term:
Jesse Jackson unwittingly advocating CPS
Here is a bit of background on Michigan's game.
Here are the programs in place to handle the onslaught of families in need of help once terminated from assistance.
Here are the jobs created by cutting off assistance.
And here is the last leg of the program.
It is like this: Michigan's public and private social assistance programs have been riddled with billions in fraud, producing poor results in helping people, including children.
Private corporations are taking over the servicing of social programs, whereby directly accessing an increase in funding, particularly Medicaid, at a fully reimbursed rate, complete with overlays.
This has been on the play books for quite some time. It is just a shame no one will listen to anyone else besides their alter ego of super savior.
Reverend David Bullock,
You have great charisma, but it would behoove you to do some basic research to grasp the elementary understanding of what is happening in Michigan social policies before you discuss them in public.
Children are about to be Legally Kidnapped in record numbers. What are you going to do about it?
Let me teach you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Michigan 13th Congressional District Map 2011

Due to technical advances, this map is now under reconstruction...kind of like our state's roads.

This is the new 13th Congressional District Map for Michigan, as passed by legislature June, 29, 2011 and signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder.

To find out if you reside in the new 13th Congressional District of Michigan, enter your address or allow for the map to find your current location, then back click and you will see the pinpoint for your address.

View Michigan Congressional District 13 in a larger map

Here you can compare the changes in redistricting to see in which Congressional District you live.

Monday, September 26, 2011

U.S. government paid $600 million in benefits to dead, 5-year study reports

U.S. government paid $600 million in benefits to dead, 5-year study reports

WASHINGTON — The federal government has doled out more than $600 million in benefit payments to dead people over the past five years, a watchdog report says.

Such payments are meant for retired or disabled federal workers, but sometimes the checks keep going out even after the former employees pass away and the deaths are not reported, according to the report this week from the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general, Patrick McFarland.

In one case, the son of a beneficiary continued receiving payments for 37 years after his father's death in 1971. The payments — totaling more than $515,000 — were only discovered when the son died in 2008.

The government has been aware of the problem since a 2005 inspector general's report revealed defects in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Yet the improper payments have continued, despite more than a half dozen attempts to develop a system that can figure out which beneficiaries are still alive and which are dead, the report said.

"It is time to stop, once and for all, this waste of taxpayer money," it said.

Office of Personnel Management spokesman Edmund Byrnes said he could not immediately comment on the findings. But the report said OPM Director John Berry agrees that stopping the improper payments should be a priority.

There are about 2.5 million federal workers who receive more than $60 billion in benefit payments from the program each year.

Federal officials have tried matching the fund's computer records with the Social Security Administration's death records, checking tax records and improving the timeliness of death reporting.

OPM has also sampled its records of all recipients more than 90 years old to confirm whether they are still alive. In 2009, there were more than 125,000 recipients identified as over 90 and about 3,400 over 100 years old.

Both the Obama administration and Congress have made it a higher priority to crack down on improper government payments.

Last year, government investigators found that more than 89,000 stimulus payments of $250 each from the massive economic recovery package went to people who were either dead or in prison.

Michigan Lets Child Welfare Workers To Be Sued

Previously, child welfare workers could generate false claims and submit fraudulent reports to the court and not be held liable.

With the introduction of this Bill, a message is being sent out that original parents now have the ability to fight back when their children are <a href="">Legally Kidnapped</a>.

Michigan House Bill To Remove Immunity From Department of Human Services Employees

The anti child industry devoted to keeping services at minimum

The industry standard of special education is supposed to be a Chevy and not a Cadillac. However, a look at almost ANY school district statistic across the United States comparing the scores of children with learning or other disabilities against the “regular” education students will show a HUGE disparity even though 80-90% these children have normal intelligence.
This disparity cuts accross all races and economic levels.  It cannot be blamed on race, poverty or parents.  The only thing they all have in common is they don't recieve the education they need to become self sufficient adults.  
Unfortunately, these children have their civil right to their education trampled on every day.   As one school district lawyer said to a parent lawyer once, “We don’t have to give them a Chevy; we only have to give them a wheel.” In other words, Individual Education Plans are set up to give the illusion of a free appropriate public education.  Highly paid legal firms and publication companies take tax dollars teaching schools how to make “legally defensible” Individual Education Plans.  In other words, they have to make it look like they are giving an adequate education.   The standard is making it LOOK like the plan will actually deliver a free appropriate education.  There is NO accountability for actual RESULTS.