Bad Karma is well, Bad Karma. Ever since Orthofix acquired Blackstone Medical, the stars have not been aligned, nor have the Gods been conciliatory, casting pestilence and disease over Lewisville, Texas. No news is good news. Orthofix just cannot stay out of the news. On September 28th, 2012, the U.S. Attorney charged one Brian Racey, a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and an employee of Orthofix, with one count of Healthcare Fraud. The charge was levied against the accused in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for allegedly scheming to submit $250,000 in fraudulent claims that did not meet Medicare guidelines for bone growth stimulators. Is it a wonder why sales have been robust at O'fix? With all the hoopla surrounding Obamacare and the governments insistence on controlling the cost of healthcare, is it any wonder why the government is policing this industry? Haven't we learned anything? Hasn't this company learned anything? Who knows where all the dead bodies lie? Haven't the employees at O'fix learned anything? Many will insist that there isn't anything wrong with the system, but as allegations and convictions continue to mount in the O'fix Hall of Shame, the time has come to accept the fact that corruption runs rampant, and until some O'fix executives and physicians are prosecuted and jailed it will be business as usual until the next time. It's time for the government to stop accepting the old Rudy Giuliani, aka the Sergeant Schultz defense, "I know nothin'!"
The "Physio-Stim," the smoking gun, is only covered by Medicare if a patient has an established non-union of a long bone fracture. Between 2004 and 2011, the government alleges that numerous physicians prescribed bone growth stimulators for patients that did not meet this criteria. During this period Medicare paid out $250,000 for at least 100 claims submitted by Racey. Mr. Racey is accused of allegedly forging physician chart notes and prescriptions to create the appearance that the orders met Medicare guidelines. Where does the insanity stop? On average Racey made a whopping $500 commission per a Medicare paid claim of $3,020. Based on these numbers, Racey made an estimated $41,000 in commissions. Mr. Racey violated Title 18, of the United States Code, Section 1347. Was it worth it? Can one say treble damages? Maybe its time that the judicial system in this country stop pandering to white collar criminals and literally throw the book at these people. Imagine that someone can get 10 years for robbing a gas station for $50 dollars, eighty percent of ten years is an eight year term that must be served if convicted, maybe its time for Mr. Racey to cut a deal? Someone needs to take down the ship. What do our readers think?