Unbelievable as it seems in today’s age, patients came to a private practice in New Jersey and were herded into exam rooms to be evaluated by three members of a physician’s staff.  The only problem is that…they were not physicians!

The fact that they would “evaluate” a patient with no medical training is abhorrent.  How many patients came to that office with real problems and went undiagnosed?  Has the physician so much greed that the conscience is gone?

A New Jersey doctor who duped Medicaid out of nearly $2 million in a fake physician scheme was arrested by federal agents this week and charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and money laundering.

Dr. Yousuf Masoo, a New Jersey physician allegedly schemed to defraud Medicaid in which three other individuals without medical licenseses–Hamid Bhatti, Hakim Muta Muhammad and Carlos Quijada–treated patients at a practice in Elizabeth then–along with his wife Maruk–billed Medicaid as if he had seen the patients himself.

“Unsuspecting patients were placed at risk through deceit and substandard medical care, buy ventolin diskus while taxpayers were being defrauded of millions of dollars,” Michael B. Ward, Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark Division, said in a statement. “The fact that such a fraud could be accomplished for as little as $17 an hour serves as a reminder for the need for law enforcement to maintain focus in pursuit of healthcare fraud matters.”

People who worked for Masood claim that two-thirds of the patients who came through his doors only saw the three fake doctors.

A real question surfaces however that this can only occur because Medicaid patients are long accustomed to getting ‘the shuffle”.  They seldom see the same healthcare provider twice as few accept their plan and are used to “substandard” care. Needs are not met, questions are not answered and they are in and out of the office, prescription in hand to address their complaints, before they know what happened!

Yes, it is their fault.  They are the guilty culprits.  But, isn’t it the fault of the system as well?