Health Wonk Review & news from the insurance fraud front

February 5th, 2009 by Julie Ferguson

Awaiting your perusal, this week’s edition of Health Wonk Review. David Williams of Health Business Blog has compiled the best health policy wonkery from the creme de la creme of the health policy blogs. A preview of this week’s fare to whet your appetite: Pharma’s foibles; Less is more; The profit motive; The wonky section; Navel gazin’; The odd couple; Einstein in love; and Curmudgeon care.
And now, for an update on fraud watch:
Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame – It’s a motley crew: a serial home arsonist, a dentist who did worthless root canals on children. and two elderly women who bought life insurance policies on homeless men and then killed them were all among the 12 swindlers elected to the 2008 Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame. Insurance fraud is estimated at $80 billion a year, a costly toll that adds to insurance costs for all the honest people.
Here are a few nominees for next year’s list…
Coingate redux? – Things have been quiet in Ohio in the last year or so, but if some Ohio pols have their way, Tom Noe could find himself testifying at the Statehouse about the origins of Coingate. One matter that has never been established is how in the heck Noe ever persuaded the state to fork over $50 million to invest in rare coins in the first place. Noe is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence, but he has an appeal hearing on February 17.
AIG VP convicted – Christian M. Milton, a former AIG Vice President is facing a 4-year prison term and a a $200,000 fine following his conviction on charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, false statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and mail fraud. ” …Milton and his co-defendants, Ronald E. Ferguson, Elizabeth A. Monrad, Robert D. Graham and Christopher P. Garand, all former General Reinsurance Corp. executive officers, engaged in a scheme to falsely inflate AIG’s reported loss reserves, a key indicator of financial health to insurance industry analysts and investors. According to trial evidence, the fraud was carried out through the use of two sham reinsurance transactions between subsidiaries of AIG and Gen Re in response to analysts’ criticism of a $59 million decrease in AIG’s loss reserves for the third quarter of 2000.”
NJ uncovers multi-million dollar fraud scheme – Seven individuals, 11 corporations and a Pennsylvania broker have been indicted for money laundering, racketeering and other charges in a workers’ comp fraud racket. Defendants netted as much as $1.5 million. Nearly three-quarters of a million dollars were misappropriated from clients who thought they were paying their workers comp insurance premiums, leaving many employers and employees without workers comp coverage.