Inside Opinion

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How to pay off those med school loans – fast

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on May 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
May 2, 2012 6:31 pm

Check this out. Jaundiced as I may be, I have a hard time envisioning the doctors, nurses and social workers I have known looting a medical program for the elderly to the tune of $452 million.

The money be made scamming Medicare defies my financial imagination. In February, the Justice Department charged one doctor – just one – with masterminding a scheme that bilked the program for $350 million over the last five years.

Since it was launched in the mid-1960s, Medicare has operated under a philosophy of pay-first, ask-questions-later. The system assumes that the claims it gets from clinics, pharmacies, etc., are legitimate.

It’s an honor system based on our traditional trust in medical ethics. Maybe the Hippocratic Oath needs an amendment: First, do no harm. Second, keep your hands out of the cookie jar.

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