Medicare Investigator Jailed

Author: 
Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: 
Correspondence
Issue: 
July/August 1998
Volume Number: 
3
Issue Number: 
4

Dear Dr. Orient,

I have so many articles piled up on my desk that I want to share with you and other AAPS members, it's becoming more and more difficult to get to them all.

In the event that I end up in jail, however, for participating in the non-violent march to the local IRS office with other members of the Independent Citizens Committee for the Fair Treatment of the Lapp Family, I just had to get this one last piece off. It's a real gem!

Last month, I wrote to the Gerry Town Court to find out what happened to the Medicare investigator who was arrested and jailed on April 8, 1997 for making sexually harassing phone calls from his hotel room while he was in Jamestown, New York to conduct a "Medicare investigation" at the hospital. Here is the reply that I got. I think it's from the Gerry Town Justice.

The Medicare investigator plead guilty and was fined only $250 plus court costs. He did, of course, spend some time in the Chautauqua County Jail prior to appearing in court.

I see something terribly wrong with our system of justice when a Medicare investigator is fined a mere $250 for making multiple obscene phone calls to multiple people (a clear pattern of abuse), intentionally harassing them, and a physician can be fined 40 times as much ($10,000!) for coding errors on Medicare claims which may be unintentional.

In any event, there is no longer any doubt about the guilt of this particular Medicare investigator. He did, in fact, commit the crime he was accused of committing.

Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Jamestown, NY

Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(4);109-113. Copyright©1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

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