There’s been plenty of discussion about the evils of rising health care costs, but unfortunately, one only hears of government wrong-doing.
Private industry actually spearheads a lot of the price gouging — sometimes with government complicity.
And it just so turned out that a high-flying Richmond firm — Health Diagnostic Laboratory — was at the heart of a scandal that involved ripping off the Medicare program.
The Wall Street Journal on Monday was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for exposing Medicare fraud. As a result of a front-page story published last Sept. 8, Tonya Mallory, the chief executive and co-founder of HDL, resigned. A few weeks ago, HDL was fined $47 million (while admitting no wrongdoing) after their Sept. 8 story last year, for paying doctors kickbacks to use their blood tests.
The Journal broke the story after a court battle. It fought to lift a 33-year-old injunction that kept private data regarding Medicare patients. Once the data floodgates were opened, reporters pieced together all kinds of juicy information about health care firms, including HDL.
I have the story here on my “The Deal” blog in Style Weekly.
The upshot? Unlike what you often read on this blog, the problems of rising health care costs may not exactly be government sloth and inefficiency. It can be the private sector gaming the system to their benefit.There are currently no comments highlighted.