The federal investigation into doctors contracts at the North Broward Hospital District — aka Broward Health — has been a long time coming.
Those laws are in place to guard against health agencies hiring doctors at inflated rates in order to reap excessive profits from those doctors’ referrals. The law effectively aims to keep competition alive and guard against excessive and unnecessary treatments.
The evidence against the district — which collects $200 million from the property tax rolls — has been mounting. As my former colleague Thomas Francis reported in 2009, NBHD’s former general counsel, Marc Goldstone, wrote a memo to board members saying the district would be hard-pressed to defend itself against allegations that it was violating the Stark law.
Another strike against the district — it has for a long time blatantly overpaid many of its favored doctors. Long-time NBHD critic John De Groot, who investigated the agency while he worked with the Florida Attorney General’s Office, has determined that the district loses an average of $413,000 on each doctor contract, a loss of about $20 million a year. Of course, they can afford to do that what with all those free tax dollars and all.
Why would a health system created to treat indigent patients that fall through the cracks be trying to take over the health care market? That may be the biggest problem of all. Broward Health wants to be an empire. It wants to take over the market and, unlike private and non-profit facilities, it has hundreds of millions of tax dollars to help it achieve that. With five hospitals under its banner, including flagship Broward General, it’s a market monster — and indigent patients have become a footnote.
More on this as it comes in. Here’s the list of doctors the feds have subpoenaed NBHD for contracts and other information:
Julian Berman, Arnoux Blanchard, William Burke, George Caldwell, Dominic Carreira, Michael Chizner, Yira De La Paz, Carl Gill, Kevin Kessler, Sein Lwin, Archana Maini, John McAuliffe, Violet Atanasoski-McCormick, Matthew Moretti D.O., Monisola Oni, Randell Powell, Amy Relkin, Hector Rodriguez-Cortes, Rudolph Roskos, John Rozanski, Ashok Sharma, Amos Stoll, Neil Tucker, Israel Wiznitzker, Erol Yoldas, Shazia Zafar, North Broward Othopedic Associates.