Medicaid Probe - William Sherman - New York Daily News

New York Daily News article titled, "Medicaid Probe - A Cold? Take 3 Doctors Every Hour." Written by William Sherman as part of a medicaid fraud investigation series.

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Newspaper

I-"Medicaid Probe - A Cold? Take 3 Doctors Every Hour" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


Disguised as a welfare client complaining of a cold, a reporter with a medicaid card wandered into a group medical office in Ozone Park, Queens, one day last week and asked to see a doctor.The patient was first sent to a foot doctor, then twice to an internist with instructions to come back a third time, and then to a psychiatrist who arranged for weekly visit. On his second visit, the patient was given an electrocardiogram, three blood tests, two urine tests and a chest X-ray.

II-Medicaid Probe: "Our 'Patient' Gets More Tests on 2d Visit" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


A man complaining that a table had fallen on his foot was number one in line. An old woman, her calves bulging with phlebitis, stood behind him, and next to her a boy who said he is a junkie was holding a packed duffel bag and an old guitar. He mumbled something about stomach pain.They were welfare clients with medicaid cards waiting to see the receptionist at the Park Community Medical Building, 131 12 Rockaway Blvd., Ozone Park, Queens. After they registered their complaints they joined about 25 others sitting silently in the crowded waiting room. Every five minutes or so another patient was called into an examining room.

III-Medicaid Probe: "How Medicaid Paid $457,000 for Sesame Oil" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


A 76-year-old Romanian-born physician, Emanuel Revici, announced to the world for than 20 years ago that he had developed a cancer drug. Since then, the doctor has claimed to have invented other drug remedies for alcoholism and narcotics addiction.His remedies have never received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration. So, city officials were dismayed last fall to discover they paid paid out $457,000 in medicaid funds for his panacea for drug addiction - injections of sesame oil, sulphur crystals, and other still unidentified compounds at a voluntarily hospital here.

IV-Medicaid Probe: "You Don't Need Glasses to See Thru This" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


A News reporter with a medicaid card and 20-20 vision walked into a lower East Side optical center to have his eyes examined and discovered that what you see is not necessarily what you get. To put it another way, he got glasses when they were not needed. Accompanied by a News photographer posing as his cousin, the reporter strolled into Sol Moscot Opticians at 118 Orchard St. Five minutes earlier at the Delancey Medical Building across the street at 80 Delancey St., an optometrist had examined the reporter, who was in the same guise and said, "You have 20-20 vision. You don't need glasses."

V-Medicaid Probe: "How a Physician Can Prescribe Pure Dollars" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


The pharmacy in the Delancey Medical Building is only a counter in a second-floor hallway and behind that, a room with some shelves and a small working area for mixing prescriptions.But last year, out of that small one-man operation at 80 Delancey St. came $95,000 worth of medicaid billings. The business was generated from a large group of doctors, dentists, podiatrists, and other specialists who also rent space on that floor and cater almost exclusively to medicaid clients.

VI-Medicaid Probe: "Foot Docs Wearing a 35M Golden Slipper" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


Podiatrists have socked the city for more than $35 million in the last seven years. The taxpayers are footing the bill for expensive and often unnecessary care, according to the city's Health Department.A News reporter, posing as a welfare client with a medicaid card, recently asked for a podiatrist at a lower East Side group practice. He found that bills and X-rays come first, before he even took off his socks and shoes.

VII-Medicaid Probe: "Pair of Medicaid Kings With a Midas Touch" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


Meet the Medicaid Kings: Two men from Long Island who in three years parlayed a corner dental office on W. 125th St. in Harlem into a multimillion-dollar medicaid conglomerate, the biggest in the city, offering services from allergy care to methadone and piercing ears.According to Health Department records, examined by The News as part of an investigation of medicaid, the top billing center in the city is run by Benjamin Schneider, 57, and his brother-in-law, Victor Marcus, 58. Back in 1946, soon after they were discharged from the army, Schneider and Marcus started to practice dentistry at 79 W. 125th St. Twenty-three years later, medicaid came to Harlem, and today, Schneider, who lives in Woodmere, and Marcus of Roslyn, preside over the BenVic Corp.

VIII-Medicaid Probe: "Medicaid Loses as Docs Play Beat the Clock" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


Playing an expensive version of Beat the Clock, some medicaid psychiatrists routinely dismiss patients after a 10-minute chat, then bill the city for a full four's psychiatric examination. One doctor charged $700 for 25 hours of work in one day and sometimes, the Health Department said, bills are paid for patients who were not seen at all.

IX-Medicaid Probe: "In Race for Medibucks, the City's Poor Lose" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


Medicaid was launched in 1966 with two major goals: quality of care for the poor and freedom for the patient to choose his own doctor. Both ideals, so proudly hailed at the beginning, have been buried in the grab for the medical dollar.In New York City this year, about $1.3 billion will be spent on medical assistance for the poor - as much as all other welfare costs combined. Of that sum, about $180 million will go to the physicians, dentists, and other individual providers while the rest will be paid out to hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions. Most doctors refuse medicaid patients, and the city records show that only 3,000 of about 23,000 doctors have ever taken a medicaid case.

X-Medicaid Probe: "How Medicaid Dentist Pulled City's 800G" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


Fred Fisher is a medicaid dentist with an East Harlem practice who neatly extracted $800,000 from the city in two years, much of it in an alleged double billing scheme for false teeth and other work that some of his patients never needed in the first place. Although indicted two years ago by a Manhattan grand jury on 241 counts of submitting fraudulent bills, Fisher, 37, is still running his medicaid operation at 1690 Lexington Ave. out of the second floor of an old frame building. Since he opened his nine-chair office at 103d St. six years ago, Fischer has billed the city for more than $1 million, much of it for work performed by other dentists in his employ.

XI-Medicaid Probe: "Medicaid's Deaf Ear to Hearing Aid Dealers" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


Operating through a loophole in city medicaid regulations, two major hearing aid dealers went into nursing homes, canvassed hundreds of elderly residents and ordered devices for them at $250 each. It was discovered later that many of the residents were not hard of hearing or did not use the aids.

XII-Medicaid Probe: "City Gives Dr. Hi Billmore Shot of Comedownance" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


When doctors met Health Department attorney Stuart Laurence, they usually begin with loud protests of innocence and agonizing tales of self-sacrifice and good works.By the time the meetings are over, many of the physicians and other professionals who are called in by the score to answer to fraud charges and other abuses of the medicaid program are mewing soft apologies, making promises of good behavior, and are ready to sing checks for restitution.

XIII-Medicaid Probe: "Drawing a Map of Land of Nod"- William Sherman - New York Daily News


Addicts with medicaid cards have found a doctor's office on the lower East Side where they can obtain prescriptions for tranquilizers and hypnotic drugs at a cost to the city of about $15 a pop.Each day, dozens of drowsy, incoherent addicts and methadone maintenance patients pass through the medical-dental facilities at 104 Avenue B, where they sit for a quick examination by Dr. Leonard Parr and in almost every case, walk out with prescriptions for one or more of the drugs - some of which can be addictive.

XIV-Medicaid Probe: "Bureaucracy Choking in Attempts at Control" - William Sherman - New York Daily News


Medicaid has become an unmanageable monster in New York City, consuming billions of tax dollars while failing to keep its promise of an effective system of responsible health care for the poor.Its $1.3 billion annual budget will increase at the rate of 10% a year, according to city officials. Moreover, the cost has been bloated with the billing abuses of many doctors and other providers who operate on a fee for service basis that is loosely audited and relies on the practitioner's honor.