Ripped from the Headlines

A hospital comes up with a great kickback scheme. They hire some marketers to bring in homeless patients to their hospital and treat them for imaginary illnesses. And charge the government. They get rich, the homeless get used and abused, and the American taxpayer is swindled.

Sounds like a great crime novel, right? Well,I’m sorry to tell you the story is taken. But not by a fiction writer.

Los Angeles Doctor’s Hospital, Inc., pled guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicare and Medi-Cal through the payment of illegal kickbacks to “marketers” who recruited people to act as patients. Some of the recruits were found on the famous Skid Row in downtown LA. They were treated, even if they did not need treatment in exchange for a small payment.

It appears other southern California hospitals were involved in similar schemes. All to the toll of almost $16 million!

Born in La Mirada, California, Melissa M. Garcia has lived most of her life in the sometimes gritty, but always entertaining landscape that is Southern California. She graduated from California State University in Long Beach with a degree in English/Literature. Garcia is the author of the Luc Actar crime series (including Falling Angels and Chasing Demons) and the Death Valley Mystery series (Stranger: A Death Valley Mystery). She has also published an e-book collection, Faith Departed: Short Stories of Mystery, Crime, and Despair.

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