It's a late morning in August as Verenice Lopez leans against the passenger seat window of her boyfriend's pickup truck, watching the leafy residential streets of Houston's Fifth Ward speed by. They're on their way to Riverside General Hospital's drug treatment center on Lyons Avenue, which had been ... More >>
Earnest Gibson III, Riverside's General Hospital's CEO of more than 30 years, was convicted Monday of conspiring to buy and sell patients in a Medicare and Medicaid scam that siphoned $158 million from government coffers. Also convicted and awaiting sentencing are his son Earnest Gibson IV, Rivers ... More >>
Arguments in the trial of Riverside General Hospital administrators accused of pilfering millions in a federal healthcare scam concluded Monday as the jury left to decide whether Earnest Gibson III, his son and two other defendants bought and sold patients by the head to cash in on Medicare and Medi ... More >>
The Centers for Disease Control said more than 1.5 million people get infections while they are in the hospital. As part of a program through the Affordable Care Act, hospitals that receive Medicare money will be hit with a penalty if they have too many people get sick while seeking treatment. A re ... More >>
The manufacturer of a blood thinner will pay $650 million to settle claims brought by 4,000 consumers and next of kin who claimed to have been injured by the drug. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, makers of Pradaxa, agreed on the settlement this week, resolving litigation that began in Novembe ... More >>
Memorial Hermann treats patients without insurance, tells them not to worry about the cost and then sues them for thousands of dollars.
Sometimes, silence truly is deafening. Rick Perry spends an awful lot of time engaging anyone who will listen around the country on why they ought to move to Texas. It's good for business. We got lots o' guns. We let you live the way you want to live. We don't have no dad-gum income taxes. We're jus ... More >>
Hospitals, doctors and dealers have made Medicare the nation's sweetest crime. The feds are now trying to shutter the door.
If Mitt Romney won't tell you which need to be closed, we will.
Today is officially Lyndon Baines Johnson Day here in the state of Texas. The late 36th president's birthday was hallowed in his home state after he died in 1973 of a massive heart attack at the age of 64. He would have been 104 today. Johnson ascended to the presidency from the vice-presidency aft ... More >>
Leaked document reveals the secrets of the GOP's coded language.
From cash-hungry strippers to protesters dressed as vaginas.
A man described by prosecutors as "a prominent Houston radiologist" has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle claims that he provided kickbacks to get physicians to refer business his way. Jack L. Baker of the Fairmount Diagnostic Center in Pasadena entered into the agreement today, settling claims file ... More >>
Aghaegbuna "Ike" Odelugo of Sugar Land is a concert promoter, we're told, but that can be a rough business to make a buck in these days. Ripping off Medicare, however, can be a breeze -- until you get caught. Odelugo, 39, was sentenced to six years in federal prison today on health care fraud and ... More >>
Houston makes the fraud lineup.If you're going to defraud the U.S. government, go big. It's not like they're going to miss a stray $62 million or so. Thus was the thinking of Houstonian Jodi Leonore Latson, 45, who -- unfortunately for her -- ended up as one of the bigger fish caught in a na ... More >>
We still don't know whether a deal will make it through Congress or whether instead the Tea Party will drive the nation off the economic cliff. If the U.S. defaults and all of a sudden can't write checks, things could get....interesting. Fortunately, there are back-up plams. 5. Social Security ch ... More >>
Christina Clardy among those convicted.Christina Clardy, a 61-year-old West U doctor, was convicted with two other people of running a massive Medicaid-and-money-laundering scam that somehow involved Nigerian tankers, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced today. Kenneth Anokam, 56, and Niger ... More >>
Calling all "patients"How lucrative can ripping off Medicare be? Lucrative enough that one scamster was offering up to $1,000 a patient to "recruiters" who sent customers her way. Doris Vinitski, 46, the owner of Onward Medical Supply, signed up the patients and then started billing Medicare ... More >>
U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno announced two indictments this afternoon.U.S Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today an indictment against ten defendants allegedly involved in a human trafficking ring at a local nightclub and restaurant. The defendants, who include the owners and several ... More >>
Like combining chocolate and peanut butterIn the Southern District of Texas, U.S. Attorneys often deal with two kinds of fraud: scams involving a) Medicare, or b) Hurricanes Katrina or Rita. It takes a special genius to combine the two, and apparently Patrick Ita is that man. Prosecutors un ... More >>
Problems n a First World country
Research done without consent, suit saysA former doctor and faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston claims that she was fired because she blew the whistle on other doctors who used mental health patients as research guinea pigs without proper or legal consent. ... More >>
What Texans would do for a Lincoln
Courtesy MyPlates.comJust a historical reference, nothing politicalTexas -- ever eager to do its part to foment rightwing nuttism -- may be giving official state sanction to the Tea Party, via license plates.New proposed license plates from MyPlates.com are out for review, and they include the "D ... More >>
The "Jazzy" model, no kiddingSandra Thurman Patino, 46, had a pretty good deal going with a Medicare scam involving motorized wheelchairs, but now she's headed to federal prison for four years.Plus she's giving up the $1.1 million she had in the bank, and a Cadillac, to the feds.Patino was senten ... More >>
Sugar Land's Tom DeLay has wormed his way back into the spotlight lately via the announcement he'll be on Dancing With The Stars.He showed up on Chris Matthews' Hardball the other day, and we've got to ask: Was he drunk? (DeLay, not Matthews.)Check out the video for yourself.Visit msnbc.com for Brea ... More >>
Think it's hot in Houston now? Just want for....(switch to stentorian voice)...The Future!!!!That's the word from Climate Central, a non-profit scientific group that apparently believes all this climate-change mumbo-jumbo the socialist-fascists are trying to throw at us when they're not trying to ... More >>
Houston is at the center of a big sweep against Medicare fraud announced today by the feds. A grand jury here issued indictments involving more than $16 million in fraud, and agents went out today and arrested 32 people in Houston, New York, Boston and Louisiana.Sayeth the feds: The Strike Force ... More >>
Kathern Cathey thought she had an insurance policy that would save her life. Not exactly.
Usually when the Justice Department announces the settlement of a Medicaid-fraud case, it's a small-time operation dealing with wheelchairs or even adult diapers.Not today.Today they've nabbed a nearly-$10 million settlement out of Methodist Hospital here for defrauding the federal program.The US At ... More >>
If you happen to be driving through Rosharon Saturday and see 50 skydivers headed toward you, don't panic - it's not Red Dawn come to life. And don't freak out over the fact that they all just happen to be amputees, 'cause it's not a coincidence: It's the second annual Airborne Amputee Skydive, spon ... More >>
There are two solutions to help the population of uninsured children in Texas, according to a Houston pediatrician: Pray for change or move to Canada. That's overstating it a bit, but Dr. Ana Malinow, a pediatrician and co-founder of the advocacy group Healthcare for All Texas, tells Hair Balls that ... More >>
Usually, when the federal government refuses to join in your whistleblower suit, you give up. (Unless, of course, you're talking about whistleblower suits against the federal government.) A pair of local attorneys decided to stick with their so-called "qui tam" (legalese for "whistleblower") suit, ... More >>
Texas is at the top of the heap again – this time we are the most uninsured state, health care-wise, in the country. Woo hoo! Oh, snap, wait, that’s not a good thing, is it? The U.S. Census Bureau released a report today stating that the number of uninsured in America was down to just 15.3% in ... More >>
SPECIAL DÍA DE LOS IMPUESTOS EDITION
Critics of GoldStar ambulance service say it's late to emergencies, cares for profits over patients, and doctors its books. But without it, there's nothing.
Religious charities discover state welfare reform savings are based in part on their backs
Ladies take the lead in Houston Ballet's Women@Art
John Kerry should hit the decks for his running mate
Women 35 and up serve it up
Fed Up with Feds, Still Reeling, Diabolical Docs
Hospital district officials wanted a simple one-sentence policy on immigrant health care. What they got instead was a criminal probe and plenty of politics.
Dr. Amos and Cecilia Ozumba ran Houston Maintenance Clinic for four years. Have they finally run it into the ground?
Some ex-patients credit the mind-body therapy of New Age healer JoAnne Mandel with saving their lives. Others say her compassion stopped at the bottom line.