Dore: "Existing federal hospice programs, such as the Medicare hospice benefit, are plagued by fraud, poor quality care, rampant abuse, arguably murder, and a gross waste of taxpayer dollars. Enacting another federal hospice program, when existing programs are far from being under control, makes no sense and will only cause more of the same."
Contact: Margaret Dore, Esq.
Attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation, which has fought euthanasia legalization efforts in many states, including euthanasia occurring under the guise of palliative care and hospice, made the following statement in connection with a proposed "Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act," now pending in the U.S. Senate as bills S. 693 and H.R. 1676.
"The proposed bills amend the Public Health Service Act to require financial support for 'Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers,'" said Dore. "This will be a new palliative care and hospice education program, which will include direct patient care."
"The bills were introduced on March 22, 2017 and viewed as noncontroversial," said Dore. "H.R. 1676 passed the House on July 23, 2018. A week later, however, the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) issued a portfolio highly critical of the Medicare hospice program. The portfolio states:
OIG investigations of fraud cases have uncovered hospices enrolling patients without the beneficiary's knowledge or under false pretenses, enrolling beneficiaries who are not terminally ill, billing for services not provided, paying kickbacks, and falsifying documentation.""There are similar problems with the Medicaid hospice benefit," said Dore. "Consider also the Novus Health Services case in Texas, alleging a 60 million dollar Medicare fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas alleges that beneficiaries suffered serious bodily injury or death in order to produce maximum profit for Novus. The Attorney General's press release states:
Harris [a Novus owner] would direct that patients be placed on continuous care [which had a higher billing rate]...
When a beneficiary was on continuous care, ...nurses would administer high doses of Schedule II controlled medications..., whether the beneficiary needed the medication or not...
One reason for this aggressive medicating practice was that Harris wanted to ensure that the beneficiaries' medical records contained documentation that would justify billing Medicare at the higher continuous care billing rate. There were instances when these excessive dosages resulted in serious bodily injury or death to the beneficiaries.""According to newspaper accounts, at least four Novus employees have pleaded guilty to health care fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud as of September 14, 2018," said Dore.
Dore added, "The human cost of hospice abuse can also be found in articles, letters, and internet posts of still hurting individuals whose friends and/or family were allegedly killed in hospice."
Dore summarized, "Existing federal hospice programs, such as the Medicare hospice benefit, are plagued by fraud, poor quality care, rampant abuse, arguably murder, and a gross waste of taxpayer dollars. Enacting another federal hospice program, when existing programs are far from being under control, makes no sense and will only cause more of the same."
"The proposed bills, creating a new hospice program, must be rejected unless and until the problems with existing programs are resolved," said Dore. "It's time to stop the waste, bleeding, and heartache. The proposed Act must be rejected."
For more information, see:
1. Margaret Dore, Final Bill Summary Sheet for S. 693 & H.R. 1676, available at https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/final-s-693-h-r-1676-summary-sheet.pdf
2. Margaret Dore, Legal/Policy Analysis of S. 693, prepared for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension, available at: https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/s-693-memo-appendix.pdf
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