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dollibug Jan 18, 7:53 p.m.
Sounds like a lot of CORRUPTION AND COVER UP GOING ON....and no one is doing anything about it....there should be someone in charge of what happened. What are they doing....blaming the devil?
MountaineerAsh Jan 18, 6:59 p.m.
What about all the charity care WakeMed provides that they Never get reimbursed for at all? No one seems to care about that.
djofraleigh Jan 18, 6:52 p.m.
Wake Med is the largest employer in Wake County. Imagine it having to close!!!
cblackman Jan 18, 3:20 p.m.
I can guarantee, after working at Wake Med for 5 years, that someone who makes 10-12 dollars per hour lost their jobs for this. And, they only did what they were TOLD to do....
KermitDFrog Jan 18, 2:58 p.m.
This isn't limited to WakeMed. Across the country there are hospital districts and private practices doing the exact same thing. Even the large pharmacy chains are in on the action.
KermitDFrog Jan 18, 2:53 p.m.
We can easily demonize the "welfare mom". When you wear a nice suit and steal millions for a living, you're heralded and shielded. I'm sure all those in charge got nice fat bonuses for increasing revenue.
zile1porkey Jan 18, 2:03 p.m.
FINALLY A GOOD JUDGE IF I HAD MY OWN BUSINESS AND DID WHAT WAKE MED DID I WOULD BE IN JAIL HE IS CORRECT THEY NEED TO CHARGE SOMEONE OF COURSE THEY CAN PAY THE MONEY BACK BUT WHY DID THEY SETTLE BECAUSE THEY KNEW THEY HAD FRAUDED THREE TIMES WHAT THEY ARE PAYING INDICTED THEM CRIMINAL CHARGE SOMEONE TO STOP THIS.
buford Jan 18, 1:49 p.m.
None of the employees involved received any benefit. - superman
True, but unfortunately the employees will suffer for this. Three years ago WakeMed was broke and there were no raises or bonuses...now all of a sudden they are buying up every hospital and practice around...where did the $$$ come from?
golorealist Jan 18, 1:46 p.m.
my thought process as i read this article:
"Dr. Bill Atkinson, WakeMed president and chief executive, said last month there was never any intent to defraud the government. He attributed the fraudulent billings to mistakes in interpreting complex Medicare rules."
huh? either patients stayed overnight and medicare should be billed, or they didn't stay and medicare should not be billed. the rules are pretty cut and dry there. there's no grey area in the rules pertaining to charging for hospital stays.
"WakeMed backtracked on some of those comments this week, issuing a statement noting that it knew the rules and was bound to follow them."
yeah. that's what i thought.
lying to try to make yourself look better when you're already in trouble for fraud isn't a wise move.
goncampn2 Jan 18, 1:44 p.m.
Wake Med also needs to be investigated for the way they handle patients outstanding medical bills. Twice I have used their services and after my insurance settled bill I was responsible for the remainder. I scheduled a payment plan and was on time for every payment except when the holiday mail did not get my payment to them.They immediately turned it over to collections which by the way they own. Don' understand that!I paid/mailed the bill 5 days before it was due. It took the post office 6 days to deliver the payment.I tracked it. By the way I live in Apex less than 10 miles from Wake Med on Tryon Rd.
concerncitizen Jan 18, 11:31 a.m.
The authorities will make a big show from time to time arresting and prosecuting a single doctors office, for stealing a couple million dollars from Medicare. Wake Med Hospital has stole billions of dollars. I would bet my right arm on it being a fact. 8 Million is nothing when you can steal billion or trillions and keep on stealing because you know the authorities do not have the resources to watch a big hospital like Wake Med. So they will pay something and continue business as usual!!!!
lprop Jan 18, 11:30 a.m.
Does anybody know what is wrong with our judicial system? Does anybody care?
concerncitizen Jan 18, 11:23 a.m.
In case it does not appear to you to be the same thing. This is why Lance Armstrong, and all the other cheaters believed cheating is no big deal.... Only the judge has the guts to say wait a minute. Continue to watch, nothing will change. The hospital will pay 8 million to stop the inquirer that might uncover just how guilty they really are!
superman Jan 18, 11:10 a.m.
The judge needs to remove himself from the case. Everyone is entitled to fair and just proceedings and he has already made up his mind. This is different that an individual doctor etc. No one benefited except the hospital. The judge has no authority to decide whether or not to prosecute a case. I think he is overstepping his boundary just a little. The settlement is more than fair. None of the employees involved received any benefit.
hp277 Jan 18, 11:02 a.m.
Judge Boyle is right - the administrators who cooked up this scheme should have gotten jail time. The hospital had to pay a fine, but what consequences, if any, were there for these white-collar crooks?
bill0 Jan 18, 10:31 a.m.
"If the 8 million dollar fine is not more than the amount Wake Med stole from Medicare then it is still a bargain for Wake Med "
No, they had to pay back 100% of the overbillings PLUS a fine of $8 million.
To show just how low the administrators are, they tried to blame the whole thing on a couple of nurses. Sure. A couple nurses conspired to overbill medicare millions of dollars, but gave every cent to the hospital. Sounds likely, right?
imtiredofit Jan 18, 10:09 a.m.
Congratulations to U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle for questioning the deal that the U.S. prosecutors were trying to squeeze through the justice system. One thing I do not recall seeing is how much money Wake Med took from their fraudulent billing to Medicare? If Wake Med made more money than what the prosecutors were agreeing to settle for then this is outright theft by Wake Med. If the 8 million dollar fine is not more than the amount Wake Med stole from Medicare then it is still a bargain for Wake Med and proves the saying that crime does pay for white collar crimes. Wake Med needs to be charged and tried in court so we can get to the bottom of this theft of the publics money.
wildpig777 Jan 18, 9:48 a.m.
maybe i'll use this to "fudge" on my state taxes --- hahahahahahahahaha
kermit60 Jan 18, 9:36 a.m.
This clearly sends a message that if you are big and important that you can bend or just break the rules with minimal fear of punishment.
early exit Roy Jan 18, 9:27 a.m.
This smells like unc athletics. They are hiring their own investigators/audits. What do you think this outcome will be? We are lucky to have a judge that recognizes the fraud and hopefully he will take this further. It wasn't a mistake this happened. You know when a patient stays or leaves the hospital. Maybe some people should be indicted so we can get to the end of this.
wildpig777 Jan 18, 9:23 a.m.
maybe the BAR [what a joke} oughta investigate why the prosecutors choose not to go further?
bet if it was a kid or a citizens smoking a joint they'd make every effort to throw em under the jail.
wildpig777 Jan 18, 9:21 a.m.
SOMEBODY didnt receive his hush money- i guarantee you could audit every hospital in nc and find the same fruadulent accounting going on.
lsdhome Jan 18, 9:13 a.m.
Go get 'em, Judge Boyle!!! I can hardly believe Atkinson didn't even bother to come to court... that is contempt of court and of the taxpayers.
Scubagirl Jan 18, 8:28 a.m.
They KNEW what they were doing!!!! I agree w/ the judge no plea should have been accepted. This has gone on long enough and needs to stop. Won't happen w/ fines!
keymania Jan 17, 7:53 p.m.
Let's put some teeth in this federal crime. Taxpayers should not allow this to go unpunished.
dollibug Jan 17, 7:48 p.m.
It is sad when prosecutors are allowed to *PICK AND CHOOSE* what they want to do....DO THESE PEOPLE NOT HAVE LAWS TO FOLLOW??????
notkidding Jan 17, 7:44 p.m.
"Also, they offer care to a large portion of uninsured individuals."
By passing the cost on to "paying" customers! The're a business, not a charity.
rhess2 Jan 17, 6:43 p.m.
WakeMed isn't my number 1 choice for hospitals, but they are high rated in some specialties. Also, they offer care to a large portion of uninsured individuals. I belive Federal prosecutors made the right decision by not criminally charging the Hospital and some of its employees. In the end I agree it is likely patients would be recipients of the aftermath. Shame on WakeMed, because its difficult to buy Dr. Atkinston's intial contention there was "mistakes in interpreting Medicare complex rules". Try another approach Doctor, because that one doesn't apply.
Terkel Jan 17, 6:40 p.m.
I like Judge Boyle! This is a classic example of asking the tough questions.
RunsWithWolves Jan 17, 6:38 p.m.
Jail time is the only remedy for defrauding Medicare. So many doctors and medical practices like to cheat Medicare, that they need to really crack down with jail time for these criminals.
rachel Jan 17, 6:32 p.m.
any action against WakeMed must be against the people involved and not the hospital as a unit- Wakemed provides alot of help and care to the community- nailing the hospital will only hurt the community, nailing the suits? Another one bites the dust-yahoo
rachel Jan 17, 6:31 p.m.
putting one of these suits in prison is an additional waste of taxpayer money- prison should be used to remove from society people who are a danger to the community- not this stuff-for people like this, you sentence them to restitution, community service and they must work at their job-with their salary donated to the community they defrauded-if they have to take a night job to support themselves-boo hoo-now they can see how others have to live due to their fraud
bubbba Jan 17, 6:30 p.m.
Today I learned from the news once again. Smoke a joint you go to jail. Steal from Uncle Sam you get a pass....Something aint right.
stormtrooper76 Jan 17, 6:16 p.m.
The judge is absolutely correct. WakeMed should face criminal charges for these actions.
Dr. Atkinson seems to comment off the rocker being that WakeMed has had to correct his statements.
To think that WakeMed wanted to buyout Rex! What a joke. WakeMed needs to get it's own affairs in order before worrying about the REX/UNC relationship.
Our lawmakers in Raleigh need to look at WakeMed's nonsense and illegal activity before considering any further action concerning Rex/UNC.
If anything, REX should buyout WakeMed and replace the folks running the WakeMed system!
teleman60 Jan 17, 6:02 p.m.
They should be required to provide an audit of over billing and REIMBURSE MEDICARE the Millions they stole! Immediately!
Instead of cutting Medicare this is how to curb FRAUD!
jeffingarner Jan 17, 5:47 p.m.
Bill Atkinson has been a major disaster for WakeMed, but then, he was a major failure at New Hanover. WakeMed's board let the best candidate to replace Ray Champ slip away. He was snatched up by Duke, who recognized his leadership and integrity. WakeMed was a great hospital before Billy Boy. Maybe it will be again once he is GONE!
meldenis Jan 17, 5:40 p.m.
I thought that was kind of strange. people in high places watch out for each other.
charlesboyer Jan 17, 5:39 p.m.
Apparently, the judge doesn't realize how America works: huge-scale systemic fraud by corporate executives is not worth criminal charges, while copying a DVD can get you 5-10 years in the slammer.
Rebelyell55 Jan 17, 5:33 p.m.
Somebody is paying out a lot of money to stay out of Jail, and the "fine" they're paying ain't nothing compared to what they most likely have stolen over the years.
whatelseisnew Jan 17, 5:29 p.m.
I agree, there should be criminal charges and anyone convicted should spend a very long time in Prison. This Judge is absolutely correct.
Published: 2008-01-11 14:37:00
Updated: 2010-06-21 13:53:03