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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Patient Brokering, Kickbacks, etc. First time in almost 8 years I get a call.

KICKBACKS, PATIENT BROKERING, SOLICITATION...  


Dr. Alan Himmel

I got one of those calls today.  You know, one of THOSE calls.  And, the call came in early on a Saturday morning from an area code that is a few hundred miles north of here.  Naturally, I answered the phone, like I always do, because phone calls to my office are forwarded to my cell phone which sits on my nightstand charging all night.  I never want to miss a call from a patient or a prospective NEW patient.

So, I answer the phone and the he introduces himself and asks me if I am seeing patients today.  I actually had plans to go to the beach, which is where I ultimately ended up anyway, but if someone needed me and it is a new patient, I would actually change my plans, if it was necessary.  Okay, getting back to the phone call:  He had a foreign accent but spoke pretty good english.  He told me there were two patients looking for a doctor to treat their injuries.  My next question to him was, "what type of injuries?"  I actually knew where this was going right from the beginning, but I had to ask.  Believe it or not, I haven't had a call like this in years, or at all, at Miramar Chiropractic.  Well, I haven't had a call like this since I left Dade County, which was about 8 years ago.  I am so glad I am out of there.  Dade County is such a cesspool of horrible insurance companies and desperate people, who seem to have nothing at all to lose.

So he said to me, it was a car accident.  I said, "Sure, I can see the patients; when can they come in?"

 So far so good, right?

He then told me he would like to have the patients come in, but he doesn't want to speak on the phone.  He wants to meet in person to speak privately.  And, he then said he actually has more patients... "about ten more, possibly."

Hmmm.  What to do, what to do?   Lets see.  It's pretty obvious by now what this guy is up to, even though he hasn't come directly out and said anything.  Do I pay a kickback to a guy for patients, which is fraud, is a felony, and would wind me up in prison?  Or, do I tell him to go take a hike?  Easy!  I chose the latter.

For those of you out there (doctors and lawyers, and everyone else) who do this stuff on a daily basis because you think its okay, let me put this into perspective:  First, I have to assume that if you are a professional, like a lawyer or a doctor, you are a fairly intelligent person.  Its not easy to get into professional school, get passing grades, get licensed, etc.  This is something that takes a certain degree of smarts, because if it didn't, everyone would be doing it, and they're not.  Secondly, what I don't understand, and probably never will, is WHY a doctor or a lawyer would risk EVERYTHING by committing fraud, and creating potentially the worse nightmare imaginable when the police come and slap handcuffs on them.  Even though its still wrong, I can see a desperate person, with nothing to lose doing this.  But WHY would a doctor or a lawyer do this?  You know, if every lawyer and doctor would refuse to participate in illegal kickbacks, then the dirtbags on the street who are doing this, would be forced to look for another career and possibly, just possibly, the Florida No-Fault system would be in better shape.  Those of you who are doing this type of non-sense, are responsible for the terrible changes to the no-fault system, and ultimately the repeal, which could happen eventually.  I have a family and bills to pay.  I resent you assholes who are ruining it for me.  I have a big problem with this and yes, I do take it personally, because what you are doing is taking food off my family's plate.

Keep yourself clean.  Refuse this illegal activity, even if you think you will never get caught. You will be able to sleep comfortably at night, and you will not propagate this type of activity, which is pathetic and ruins it for everyone in the long run.