Doctor Accused of Medicare Fraud Donated $450K to Democrats

Dr. Asad Qamar received more than $18.2 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012

From: freebeacon.com,  by Joe Schoffstall,  on July 1, 2015,  see the article HERE. Blue emphasis is Garnet92’s

Doctor

A cardiologist in Florida who has donated more than $450,000 to Democrats has been suspended from receiving Medicare reimbursement payments over “credible allegations of fraud” after reimbursements as far back as 2012 came under scrutiny.

Dr. Asad Qamar, a cardiologist based out of Ocala, Fla., was officially suspended from participating in the program in March, though the suspension was only recently made public. In January, the government intervened in a lawsuit against Qamar filed by whistleblowers who alleged the doctor had defrauded the government.

According to the Department of Justice, Qamar performed “excessive and medically unnecessary peripheral artery interventional services and affiliated procedures on Medicare patients.” Additionally, one lawsuit further alleges that the doctor “induced patients to undergo those unnecessary procedures by routinely waiving the 20 percent Medicare copayment, regardless of the patients’ financial need.”

Qamar’s practice, the Institute for Cardiovascular Excellence, was paid $18.2 million from Medicare in 2012, making him the second largest recipient of Medicare reimbursements in the nation that year and by far the largest recipient among cardiology practices in the United States. By way of comparison, a total of 880,664 health care practitioners billed Medicare in 2012 and received an average reimbursement of $87,883.

A little more than 2,000 practitioners received over $2 million in reimbursements, while seven physicians received over $10 million—including Dr. Salomon Melgen, a prominent donor to Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) who was indicted for Medicare fraud earlier this year. Menendez himself was indicted on federal corruption charges for his dealings with Melgen.

A contractor who monitors potentially fraudulent claims for Medicare placed Qamar on prepayment review in 2012, before the official numbers were released for the year. Physicians under such review are required to show medical records for each billed service.

While scrutiny increased on Qamar, he stepped up his contributions to Democrats. Some of these donations were made in his teenage son’s and daughter’s names.

Among the recipients of contributions from Qamar were the Democratic National Committee; the Obama Victory Fund; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), for whom he also held a fundraiser at his home in June 2012; Rep. André Carson (D., Ind.); and Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.).

In total, Qamar gave more than $450,000 to Democratic committees, candidates, and state parties in recent years.

In January 2013, Greg Kehoe, a lawyer from Greenberg Traurig, sent a letter to lawmakers on behalf of Dr. Qamar. Kehoe allegedly helped Qamar contact members of Congress asking for help addressing the scrutiny from his Medicare audit, according to the New York Times.

“Some members of Congress made calls on the doctor’s behalf,” the Times reported. “A lawyer for the doctor asked Representative André Carson, Democrat of Indiana, for help setting up a meeting with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to discuss the claims review, said Mr. Carson’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Wagner.”

Qamar donated $2,500 to Carson in 2012.

The DNC said in May 2014 that they planned on returning at least one of the hefty donations made to the committee. That donation, which totaled $32,400, was made in the name of Qamar’s son, who was only 16 years old at the time. Donations were made in his daughter’s name while she was attending the University of Florida. The contributions in her name amounted to $75,340.

Qamar’s office declined to comment when contacted.

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And some wonder how our “representatives” get rich on their meager congressional salaries? And we (the poor dumb taxpayers) lament about the high cost of Medicare and why its costs keep going up?

Here’s a thought: hasn’t EVERY candidate for practically any federal or state office promised to rid the government of waste and corruption? By now, you’d think that our governmental entities would be squeaky clean, wouldn’t you? But no, this is business as usual in Washington, D.C. and if you don’t want to participate in their little game, you’ll be ostracized and stripped of any committee chairmanships, as John Boehner did recently. Yes, he may have backed off after the actions were exposed, but retaliation by the Speaker or Mitch McConnell in the Senate IS business as usual in D.C. They’re looking out for the lobbyists and the big donors, with little regard to what’s right or good for the country.

This cardiologist is simply one example of how the system gets scammed. All you need to do is to make donations to the party and its leadership to smooth the way to millions in government largess.

Garnet92

 

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6 Responses to Doctor Accused of Medicare Fraud Donated $450K to Democrats

  1. CW says:

    I’m very glad you posted this, Garnet. There can never be enough exposure of the corrupt mess our gov’t has opened the door to.

    I would love to see someone like Dr. Asad Qamar and his democrat co-conspirators become the poster children for Medicare fraud, so that when the program is bankrupt in a few years and the elderly unable to get medical care after supporting the program all their working lives they can see where the money went. Contrary to what the misnomer “waste” implies, the money didn’t get thrown in the trash. It was transferred into the pockets of corrupt people like Dr. Qamar, who is living like a king while the program goes broke.

    Anyone with half a brain could have predicted this would happen when Medicare was proposed.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Right CW, Medicare fraud is already out of control. The GAO estimates that there is somewhere around $50 BILLION of excessive and fraudulent payments in 2013 alone. This one criminal was paid over $18 million IN ONE YEAR ALONE.

      You bring up a good point – I wonder what his house, cars, yachts, etc. look like? Living like a king is probably spot on. And yet, we’re told that Medicare is running out of money – I wonder why?

      One day, if we’re lucky, perhaps some president with cojones will force CMS to tighten up their requirements for doctors so that Medicare only pays for actual work done – but I won’t hold my breath.

  2. Kathy says:

    The DNC said they’d return one of the contributions?? Gee guys, don’t put yourselves out.

    I totally agree with your assessment, Garnet and here’s another thing that needs changing.

    When the contractor noticed the excessive payments on fraudulent claims, he should have frozen the doctor’s account, instead of merely having him produce medical records. Apparently those weren’t researched for authenticity either. It makes me wonder what his cut was.

    Everyone’s getting a piece of the pie but us.

    • Garnet92 says:

      It’s amazing how resourceful a criminal can be. It wouldn’t surprise me if Dr. Qamar didn’t have a bunch of “plantom” patients that he could charge Medicare for their services. I’ve seen that in payroll before, where there were “employees” who got paychecks each payday, but didn’t actually ever report for work. For a payday like $18 million a year, I’m sure that the good doctor wouldn’t have any trouble sending in supportive documentation when asked. You’re right, they should have cut him off first – then required documentation that was verified before releasing any checks.

      You’re right, the rich get richer by paying off the politicians, who turn a blind eye to the fraudulent activities by their campaign contributors – it’s a closed loop – and we ain’t in it.

  3. Uriel says:

    No shock affect here Kathy. Just time to move more into general prison accommodations. I am sure those in that group would enjoy explaining things to these rats betooties. This is sickening betrayal of those who need medical help and the working people drowning in debt unable to get insurance or assistance. Obamacare simply triples this fraud.

    • Garnet92 says:

      And we can bet our bottom dollar that an entirely new group of fraudsters are setting up shop in the innards of Obamacare. They’ll make millions, just like Dr. Qamar, and they’ll contribute to politicians, like Dr. Qamar, and they’ll get off scot-free (probably like Dr. Qamar). It is, as I told Kathy, a closed loop – and we ain’t included.