Did Frist Help Persuade Ashcroft to Approve a Lowball Settlement of Fraud Claims Against HCA?
Boy, it helps when you are Majority Leader and your family’s money is on the line.
John Ashcroft’s Justice Department approved a settlement of numerous claims of federal Medicare fraud Thursday against Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), for an amount that even GOP Senator Charles Grassley thought was too low.
(B)ut the settlement amount has generated criticism from Congress.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, has said the fraud settlement might be too low and harmful to taxpayers.
“The most important question is unanswered,” Grassley said in a written statement last month. “That’s whether the taxpayers will get their money back from any fraud perpetrated by HCA. I haven’t seen the statistical evidence to show this settlement will fairly compensate the taxpayers for their losses.
“Until I see the math, I’ll remain skeptical,” he added.
The settlement wraps up a long-running investigation about how it billed the government for Medicare and allegations that it paid kickbacks to physicians to have patients referred to facilities.
Bill Frist’s family money comes from HCA.