CNN had an interesting article about one of the largest Medicare frauds in U.S. history. "Dr. Alon Vainer, a medical director at dialysis clinics in Georgia, was discussing clinic procedures with one of the nurses, Daniel Barbir. The two men say they saw something they believed was very wrong: expensive medicine, and lots of it, was being tossed in the trash. And the clinic workers were being told to do it, the two men say."
"The alleged waste was being carried out on a massive scale and, the nurse and the doctor said, they knew why almost immediately. They claim it was a way for their company, DaVita Inc., to defraud the government, overbill Medicare and Medicaid and make a fortune."
"Vainer and Barbir said the alleged fraud schemes they discovered were going on at the company's clinics all across the country -- at the time, about 2003 through 2010, more than 1,800 -- with tens of thousands of patients. It was enormous, they claim, and Vanier said it was all a deliberate strategy coordinated by the company."
DaVita Inc. is one of the nation's largest dialysis companies. The company just moved into a brand new $101 million office tower, complete with fountains, gardens and even a suspended ski gondola inside for private meetings. Most of DaVita's revenue comes from a single source: taxpayers. More than two-thirds of DaVita's revenue comes from Medicare and Medicaid payments.
DaVita settled a similar case in Texas for $55 million. Pat Burns, with the watchdog group "Taxpayers Against Fraud," says the bigger problem is that even if a company gets caught cheating the government, the company executives never seem to face any punishment. Fines are paid and business continues as usual.