Deaths and Fraud alleged at Long Island VA
Along the winding drive through the 300-acre compound of Long Island’s only veterans’ medical center, banners line the road stating the presumed values of the institution: integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence.
But in recent months, a series of troubling failings and allegations of wrongdoing have called into question the care being provided to thousands of the nation’s military personnel by the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Northport, N.Y., with charges of abuse that include widespread billing fraud and the failure to report the death of a patient for months after his body was found in a building on the complex.
Congress is going to hold hearings to look into some of the allegations, which include this:
Hospital officials, including the facility’s director, Philip Moschitta, have been called to testify. According to a person familiar with the investigation, who was not authorized to speak and requested anonymity, they will also be asked about allegations of widespread fraud, including the collection of thousands of dollars in fees to care for veterans who were never actually treated.
According to internal emails, and current and former employees familiar with the alleged scheme who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation, nurses were directed to make cold calls to veterans and then code those calls to look as though they had been solicited by the patient, not the practitioner, in order to enhance revenue.
One former hospital employee likened the practice to your private physician calling you out of the blue to check up on you, then billing your insurance company for the call. The former employee, who asked to speak anonymously to avoid reprisal, said the practice was a means of padding the numbers.
That should be one heck of a hearing.
Go read the whole thing at the link above, but be prepared to be angry.