View Full Version : Coburn committed fraud



Patrick
09-15-2004, 05:49 PM
I know this should go in the state politics forum, but since we've mostly been discussing this here, I thought I'd include it here. This was a stunning revelation that came out today.....Channel 4 reported it tonight on their 6 PM newscast. Apparently, Tom Coburn committed Medicaid fraud several years ago to get financing for a sterilization procedure. Medicaid doesn't cover sterilization procedures, so he failed to list it so he could get coverage for his procedure. Basically, he lied about the procedure he performed.

The patient also didn't agree to the sterilization procedure via written consent. She did agree to an ectopic pregnancy, however. So not only is this Medicare Fraud, but it's a violation of a patient's rights.

From KFOR-4/NY Times/Salon News:

"According to records obtained, Coburn filed an apparently fraudulent Medicaid claim in 1990, which he admitted in his own testimony in a civil malpractice suit brought against him 14 years ago by a former female patient.

In the early hours of Nov. 7, 1990, Dr. Coburn was summoned to Muskogee Regional Medical Center to attend to a pregnant patient who had been admitted with severe pains. The patient was a 20-year-old woman in her third pregnancy. After each of her first two pregnancies, she had asked Coburn to perform a tubal ligation to ensure that she would not have any more children, but he had refused, according to his testimony, telling her that Medicaid did not cover elective sterilization for women under 21. "I told her that she was too young, that it was irreversible, that she needed to wait," Coburn recounted telling the patient in December 1989. "I also told her that [Medicaid] wouldn't cover it.

Coburn found that she had an ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg is implanted somewhere other than the womb. In this case it was in her left fallopian tube. Coburn operated, removing both the left tube and the unaffected right one. The woman subsequently filed a malpractice suit, charging that he had tied her healthy tube without her permission.

In his Feb. 27, 1992, deposition in the case, Coburn insisted that the woman had repeatedly asked him to remove the second tube. In fact, she had signed a written consent form for the operation to deal with the ectopic pregnancy, but had not signed a consent form for the second procedure. Coburn testified that he had asked a nurse to obtain that form and that he did not know why it had not happened.

In his deposition, Coburn also explained how he had gotten around Medicaid's restriction against coverage of the costs of elective sterilization for a woman under 21: He did not report the ligation of the right tube on his discharge summary. "The reason that it was not dictated as both [procedures] is because she was under 21 and was being paid for by Title 19, and to have a tubal ligation under 21, Title 19 would not have covered that," he said. He noted that under the law, sterilization even as an incidental operation accompanying a covered procedure -- i.e., removing the left fallopian tube to deal with an ectopic pregnancy -- would have nullified eligibility for federal reimbursement.

"I did not dictate [the second procedure] because of her Title 19 status," he testified. "If I had dictated both, it would have been a sterilization procedure and she wouldn't have had it covered."

At least, it is Coburn's hope that the scandal passes below the radar in his contest with Carson, who is in almost every respect Coburn's opposite. ""

Midtowner
09-15-2004, 08:57 PM
What does this have to do with the Senate election?

Nothing?

That's what I thought.

Patrick
09-16-2004, 12:34 AM
For those that might be interested, here's the article from today's Oklahoman:

"Allegations of fraud haunt Senate candidate in Oklahoma


By Clayton Bellamy
Associated Press Writer

TULSA - An old lawsuit claiming Republican Senate candidate Tom Coburn, an obstetrician, sterilized a woman without her consent and accusations that he committed Medicaid fraud have emerged as major issues in his tightly contested race against Democratic Rep. Brad Carson.
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Coburn said at a news conference Wednesday that he did nothing wrong and that his political opponents unearthed the lawsuit, which never went to trial, to hurt his candidacy.

"What you all are working from is an organized attempt to undermine my character," he said.

The lawsuit, first reported by Salon.com, was filed in December 1991 by a woman who was sterilized by Coburn more than a year earlier.

The woman, then 20, had come to him with an ectopic pregnancy, a dangerous condition in which an embryo was growing in her fallopian tube. He surgically removed the tube and tied off her other fallopian tube, leaving her sterile.

The woman alleged in her lawsuit that Coburn never received consent from her for tying off the healthy fallopian tube.

Coburn said that the woman had asked him for the sterilization procedure in previous instances and that he received oral consent.

Medicaid did not cover sterilization procedures for women under 21.

In a deposition filed in 1992, Coburn said he described the surgery to Medicaid as treatment for an ectopic pregnancy and did not describe the second procedure because if he had described both, Medicaid would not have covered it. He has said he was worried about the woman's bills.

In her deposition, the woman told the court that Coburn told her he had performed the ligation, but "you can't tell anyone because I will get in a lot of trouble for it."

Coburn said Wednesday there was no attempt to defraud Medicaid.

"What I would say is go find Medicaid fraud on me," he said. "You won't find it."

"The fact is I never billed for" removing the healthy tube, Coburn said. "Period. I know that, so therefore there can't be any Medicaid fraud."

He said no settlement was ever reached with the woman who sued him. She stopped pursuing the case.

"What it is is, it's about the politics of personal attacks," he said. "It's sad because it means because were not talking about the real issues."

"You're taking an unfounded accusation in a sleazy liberal dot-com and making it something real. Our country has got to be about more than a 14-year-old lawsuit that has no real factual basis," he said.

Coburn and Carson are locked in a tight race to succeed Republican Sen. Don Nickles. Coburn had been favored in early polls, but a new poll taken by Oklahoma City TV station KWTV indicated the two were in a dead heat.

Oklahoma is one of only a few states with open Senate seats this year, and the outcome could help decide which party controls the Senate.

Carson's campaign has denied being the source of the Salon article but said the allegations are significant.

"This is a very serious matter, and Tom Coburn will have to address questions about his past directly to the voters of Oklahoma," Carson spokesman Brad Luna said. "They obviously have a right to know the full story."

Coburn was known as a maverick and a conservative in Congress, and in 1997 helped lead a revolt against then-GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

He has rankled Democrats with several recent comments. Last month, he referred to his race against Carson as "a battle for the culture of America" and "the battle of good vs. evil."

In a July interview with The Associated Press, Coburn said he favored the death penalty for "abortionists and other people who take life." He again raised Democrats' ire when he said economic development in Oklahoma was stymied by "a bunch of crapheads in Oklahoma City."

Jay Parmley, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said serious questions are raised by Coburn's admission he did not disclose to Medicaid all of the medical procedures he performed.

"The only thing Tom Coburn is being smeared with is by a deposition where he swore on the Bible to tell the truth," Parmley said. "

mranderson
09-16-2004, 09:48 AM
What does this have to do with the Senate election?

Nothing?

That's what I thought.

On the seurfce, you are correct. However, the majority of the voters are quite uneducated in the art of selecting a candidate.

Examples. We have an Insurance Commisioner who is under indictment for charges the majority of people think are true. This man has been impeached and will probably be convicted by the Senate, thus removing him from office.

His track record started years ago. Severl allegations arose during his first re-election campaign that should have told the voters not to vote for this guy... But they did.

This guy then ran for US Senator WHILE UNDER INDICTMENT AND ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT WERE BEING PREPARED. He got, what, ten percent of the vote? Go figure.

People have elected dead people. How can a dead man hold office? Think about that before you vote.

Did Coburn commit fraud? I have NO idea. Did he say some things that upset people? Yes.

Do these things mean he will be a bad Senator? No. However, from experience and education, I have a feeling he will lose the election because the majority of the voters do not know how to see through these things.

Bill Clinton was the first candidate for President or other major office to come out of asex scandel and be elected. Look what happened. He gets oral sex from an intern young enough to be his daughter (that part is not the point, where it happened and his marriage are the points), and comes out smelling like a rose while embarrising the country and sullying the office of President. He was elected twice.

So. SHOULD the comments and the "fraud" have anything to do with the election? No. However, they do. If the voting public knew HOW to select a candidate and got away from saying "I am offended by his remarks, so I vote for the other guy," then we would all be in better shape.

It is a VERY realistic possibility that the voters lack of education may just send the Seante back into Democaratic control.

THAT would be a disaster waiting to happen. THAT scare me. Clinton was bad enough. He did a lot of damage to this country. Just imagine what a Democratic Senate could do? That is scary. :eek:

Midtowner
09-17-2004, 01:41 PM
I don't think that this type of alleged fraud is as obvious as other types of fraud. If it was, why didn't it come up in his last campaign? Why has this woman never stepped forward until the man ran for Senate?

It doesn't add up and many Oklahomans can see through that.

Also, he actually has a fairly believable defense for these allegations. Perhaps, the only thing he's guilty of is not getting a WRITTEN consent for the operation after a verbal one had been given. And even so, it seems that he actually hooked her up with something she wanted.

She's got a shoddy case at best. It appears she lost her civil trial, so as I see it, this is a moot point.

This is from the Opinion of the Supreme Court:
Whether Coburn violated Medicaid statutes or regulations by receiving Medicaid funded compensation for the sterilization procedure on Rosson appears to be in controversy, but even presuming he did receive such compensation, it would not establish negligence per se. It follows that the trial court did not err in denying Rosson's motion to take judicial notice of Medicaid statutes because the statutes were not in issue.

Link:http://www.oscn.net/applications/ocisweb/deliverdocument.asp?citeid=20154

Patrick
09-23-2004, 12:55 PM
If Coburn can't get written consent from somone in his medical practice, I tend to question whether he can handle paperwork properly as a senator. Looks like more information is coming out on this case. Here's a report released today:

"Last week, one of senate candidate Dr. Tom Coburn's former patients accused him of sterilizing her without her consent.

Angela Plummer admitted Coburn saved her life by removing a tubal pregnancy. But, she said, he did not have permission to sterilize her. Now, she has released a document that seems to bolster her claim.

In the consent form she signed before surgery there is a line that reads: "the patient has been informed both orally and in writing that as a result of the procedure she will be permanently incapable of having children."

The box next to the statement is supposed to be checked. Instead, the box marked "does not apply" has been checked.

Plummer said that proves Coburn never informed her about plans to sterilze her and that he never had her permission.

Coburn insists he did nothing wrong and that he had her oral permission. He said his political opponents are pushing the issue to hurt his campaign."

Midtowner
09-23-2004, 01:38 PM
If Coburn can't get written consent from somone in his medical practice, I tend to question whether he can handle paperwork properly as a senator. Looks like more information is coming out on this case. Here's a report released today:

Show me a Doctor that has never missed something on his paperwork and I'll show you the Biblical evidence that shows Oral Roberts is the 2nd coming of Christ.

This is a 14 year old case that really has as much to do with our Senatorial election as George Bush and John Kerry's medical record or whether as Kitty Kelly says, our President and the First Lady spent time with one of her sources snorting coke in the Caymans.

Things I like about Coburn:
1. Fiscally, he's slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun. I like that. He'll actually be against both Republican AND Democrat pork-barrel legislation. I like that
2. I know where he'll stand on issues -- I may not agree, but at least the guy is predictable. You can tell he's voting his conscious rather than for whatever will earn him the most in campaign contributions.

Things I don't like:
1. He's socially far too conservative. His ideal America would be something where every American operated under something between a Mennonite and Pentacostal paradigm of morality.
2. See number 1 -- this is why I supported Anthony in the primary.

Anyhow -- things like my 4(3) points above should be what matters to voters. Not some crap he did 14 years ago with medicaid. It's not like it was a secret either, you can find anthing you'd like to know about Coburn or his appeal on oscn. It appears that he was exonnerated, or else paid no penalty for the allegations brought against him, so I really don't see where this issue would have much traction even if it were true.

mranderson
09-23-2004, 02:31 PM
He handled the job of US Representitive just fine.

The "paperwork" of a Congressperson is different than that of a medical practicioner.

Coburn is the only one in this state that can help prevent the Democrats from regaining control.

Patrick
09-23-2004, 03:21 PM
You guys are right....I just thought I'd throw that out there to generate discussion.

Who cares what these candidates did 20-30 years ago. That's why I don't understand all the fuss about Bush's and Kerry's military service. My gosh, that was so long ago. Who really gives a rip. I want to know what these guys are planning on doing for the next 4 years.

Midtowner
09-23-2004, 03:22 PM
You guys are right....I just thought I'd throw that out there to generate discussion.

Damned skippy. I'm always right :D