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Should doctors with shady histories be profiting from Medicare?

Medicare and Medicaid are government-sponsored programs that absorb the cost of health care for qualifying patients. Participating doctors can profit nicely from treating Medicare patients, but the program trusts doctors to competently and ethically treat the patients.

Does it seem wise for the government to allow doctors with a history of sexual assault, gross medical malpractice or fraud/embezzlement to participate in Medicare and Medicaid?

Most people would say no. The loss of medical license due to ethical violations should revoke permission for a doctor's participation in the governmental health care programs. The case of Robert Graor supports this view.

Graor is a former Ohio physician. He lost his license to practice medicine in Ohio twice: First, for 10 felony counts of embezzlement from the Cleveland Clinic. Second, for misrepresenting his credentials.

With a lifetime ban on practicing medicine in Ohio, Graor moved to New Mexico where he began treating Medicare patients and collected more than $660,000 from the government.

Should the government allow physicians like Graor to participate in its programs? When there is a history of fraud and embezzlement it seems like an unwise decision.

Source: Crain's Cleveland Business, "Medicare Paid Billions To Doctors Who Lost Medical Licenses Due To Misconduct," Scott Suttell, April 28, 2014

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