Seeker of Truth

Robert F. Scott, CS

CSMonitor – An epic case of medical fraud – and the agent who cracked it

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This is the story of how a Miami psychiatrist managed to beat the system year after year, but finally met his match in a health-care fraud investigator named Alberico Crespo.

 

 

June 21, 2017 It started with a letter from US Senator Charles Grassley.

In December 2009, the Iowa Republican demanded to know how a Miami psychiatrist was writing more than 96,000 prescriptions for Medicaid patients. It was nearly twice the number of the second highest prescriber in Florida.

The psychiatrist, Dr. Fernando Mendez-Villamil, responded with a tartly worded message of his own. “I never thought I would be faulted for working hard or for being very organized and efficient,” he wrote the senator.

Health-care fraud costs the US government and insurance companies some $100 billion a year in overcharges and other rip offs, according to experts. It is a perpetual drain on the nation’s wealth, undercutting the ability to provide quality healthcare to those most in need.

Even after Dr. Mendez-Villamil was kicked out of Medicaid and barred from Medicare, he continued to operate an elaborate network of bribes, kickbacks, and payoffs that helped hundreds of fake patients fraudulently obtain Social Security disability payments.

Among hard-boiled fraud investigators in Miami, the strange and circuitous case of Dr. Mendez-Villamil stands out as a monument to criminal innovation, brazen defiance, and greed.

This is the story of how a Miami psychiatrist managed to beat the system year after year, but finally met his match in a health-care fraud investigator named Alberico Crespo.

No one knows the story better than the agent who conducted the investigation and stuck with it through seven years of setbacks and surprises. The story, as told by Agent Crespo, offers an inside look at the problem of health-care fraud from the perspective of an agent on the front lines of that battle.

“He was investigated by a number of agencies who were never able to prove anything,” Crespo said in an interview with the Monitor. “I just happened to be relentless enough.”

Mendez-Villamil was seeing nearly 60 patients every day, six days a week. He allotted 10 to 15 minutes per patient and was writing 2 to 3 prescriptions for each patient. It amounted to 1,400 to 1,500 patients each month.

At that rate, if he billed the standard $45 for each patient visit, he would receive between $63,000 and $67,000 each month under the Medicaid program. On an annual basis that could be as much as $800,000 a year in revenue just from patient visit fees.

Mendez-Villamil was a sole practitioner and employed no other medically trained staff. He retained three workers to help with appointments, handle paperwork, and clean the office. So the overhead expenses for his office were relatively low.

But Crespo couldn’t understand how the psychiatrist was able to see so many people day after day and still do things like eat lunch, use the bathroom, and handle emergency patients.

Through a check of pharmaceutical records, Crespo discovered that the doctor was prescribing large amounts of quetiapine, a drug approved to treat psychiatric patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It is sold commercially under the name Seroquel.

According to federal agents, there is a well-established black market in quetiapine, with street names including “jailhouse heroin,” and “Susie Q.”

The prescriptions Mendez-Villamil wrote were paid through Medicaid, so it didn’t cost the patients anything. They could then either use the drugs as prescribed, abuse the drugs, or sell them to others on the street.

“It was a free-for-all,” Crespo says.

See link below to read article in its entirety:

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2017/0621/An-epic-case-of-medical-fraud-and-the-agent-who-cracked-it

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Hillary Clinton: Reading ‘Harry Potter’ builds compassion for immigrants, refugees and gay people.

The Increasingly Dark Tone of the Series Was Inspired by Rowling’s Life Experiences.

 

The Harry Potter series becomes considerably more sophisticated as it progresses, grappling with serious issues like death and bigotry. Rowling has been open about the fact that much of the darkness is autobiographical. Rowling told Oprah Winfrey that, though she did not realize it when she began writing the series, making Harry an orphan, along with his subsequent experiences with death, was her way of dealing with the death of her mother, who died of Multiple Sclerosis when Rowling was 20. 

“If she hadn’t died, I don’t think it’s too strong to say that there wouldn’t be Harry Potter. The books are what they are because she died.” The Dementors, among the most frightening creatures in the franchise, were inspired by her struggles with depression during her 20s. “”It’s so difficult to describe to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling—that really hollowed-out feeling. That’s what Dementors are.”

Poof! 5 Little-Known Facts About How J.K. Rowling Brought …

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Lumos

 

This kingdom of God “is within you,” — is within reach of man’s consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it. In divine Science, man possesses this recognition of harmony consciously in proportion to his understanding of God.

SH 576:21
From Concord Express – A Christian Science Study Resource: The King James Version of the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s published writings

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Hillary Clinton: Reading ‘Harry Potter’ builds compassion for immigrants, refugees [ and members of the LGBT community].

Michael Walsh

Reporter
June 27, 2017

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton thinks that “Harry Potter” books have a magical touch for building compassion in young readers.

While speaking at the American Library Association conference in Chicago on Tuesday, Clinton touted reading fiction as a way of fostering empathy. She cited “years of data” and one study in particular that focused on author J.K. Rowling’s celebrated fantasy series.

“One study even found that young people who read the ‘Harry Potter’ books, which first came out 20 years ago this week, were more compassionate toward immigrants, refugees and members of the LGBT community,” Clinton told the crowd. “And so, it’s impossible for me to overstate the impact on children who see themselves in the pages of a book and are introduced to people unlike themselves.”

Though she didn’t name the study, Clinton was likely referring to an academic article published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology in July 2014, titled: “The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice.” Researchers had conducted three studies — one with elementary school children and two with high school and college students in Italy and the U.K. — to determine whether extended reading time improved attitudes toward stigmatized groups.

For the study, Loris Vezzali, a psychologist at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, and his colleagues read children passages from “Harry Potter” that deal with prejudice. These moments would involve characters like Draco Malfoy, a “pure-blood wizard,” calling Harry’s close friend Hermione a “Mudblood,” a derogatory term for a “Muggle-born” wizard or witch, and they show the hero’s subsequent anger at the callousness.

View photo – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the American Library Association’s annual conference. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

As a control condition, the researchers would read a section not involving prejudice — such as when Harry purchases his magic wand — to another group of children.

After six weeks, both groups of children were asked about their feelings concerning children from other countries. The students who read the passage dealing with prejudice had kinder things to say.

The researchers also said that teens and young adults who identified with Harry generally had more tolerant views toward gay people and refugees than those who did not.

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Throughout her speech, which was sponsored by Simon & Schuster (the publishing house that’s releasing her forthcoming children’s book), Clinton expounded upon why she believes the world needs libraries and librarians now more than ever. She said books help shatter stereotypes, broaden perspectives and spark important conversations.

“If we’re serious about raising curious, empathetic, brave citizens, that starts with raising readers,” she said.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/hillary-clinton-reading-harry-potter-builds-compassion-immigrants-refugees-171236704.html

Sailing forward from an abusive past – The Annual Windjammer Days Festival

God’s economy:
no risks, no downturns
How I found the perfect job
Sailing forward from
an abusive past

From the November 30, 1998 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

Windjammer Days

 

 

The Annual Windjammer Days Festival is presented by Friends of Windjammers, a nonprofit community organization made up entirely of volunteers.  It is the collective passion for the sea and for keeping traditions alive for future generations that drives this event, and keeps our community inspired to bring Windjammer Days to you year and after year.  We hope you enjoy!

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Video Footage taken from Boothbay Harbor’s annual Windjammer Days festival. The days of sail come to life every June in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Filmed and produced by Boothbay Region Community Television. Cameras: Ryan Leighton, Jonne Trees, Janet Moller, Kacey Rankins Drone pilots: Jonne Trees, Cody Mitchell Editor: Ryan Leighton

 The Official Home of The 55th Annual Windjammer Days Festival

June 25 through July 1, 2017

Windjammer Days marks the kick off to summer in the Boothbay region and is a time to reconnect with family, friends and neighbors after the long winter, an opportunity to support local businesses and welcome visitors. It is a time to honor our maritime history and celebrate the vital role it plays in the lives of all who live here.

Main Events

Dogs are part of God’s Kingdom

 

Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible” (p. 514). 

 

Video – Dedicated to my late lab, “Candy” and Niewlha from Mexico .

 

Dogs are part of God’s Kingdom

by Rob Scott, C.S.

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

 

 

 

 

 

 

I became a dog lover in my early childhood when my parents brought home a Labrador Retriever which was a puppy at the time when I was only 12 years old.

My mom did not want it running through her new home so they put it behind a gate in the kitchen entrance hall for the night.

But the dog would cry all night long and I knew at the time that she wouldn’t last long like this in our house as both my parents worked.

So I would sneak downstairs and hold her and she would instantly stop crying and quickly fall asleep in my arms.  This continued for several nights before I finally would sneak her upstairs and place her on the end of my twin bed where she stayed until I left for college at age 18.

I remember that she brought such harmony and joy into our home.  Love was reflected in love.

She chose me as “pack leader” because when our whole family arrived home she would bypass everyone and come right to me to express love with kiss’s and joy. Only after did she visit the rest of the family.

When I was teaching in Mexico, God brought me a dog even when I wasn’t looking for one.  I didn’t have to find her.  She just came to me!  Perhaps it sensed we both needed love.

There are a lot of stray dogs in Mexico.  A student once told me the government tries to round up a lot of them for “disposal” before a major tourist attraction comes to the the state.

Niewlha is her name.  They labeled her a street dog.   She found me one day while waiting for the bus.  The family that owns the store near the bus stop had a daughter who took her in and then didn’t want to care for her for various reasons.  So she basically returned this dog to the care of the “store” where the owners fed her but made her sleep outside at night.

She always came over to me and put her head in my lap and expressed love before and after teaching.  I would hold her and wished I could bring her to school with me.

After that she would follow me where I would sneak her into the entrance hall where I lived and just love her for a few minutes and then walk her back to the store.

Soon there was a whole posse of other dogs that she ran with which surrounded me with love.

The owner where I was staying saw her in the entrance hall one evening and scolded us both and made it clear that no dogs allowed anywhere in his condo.  I thought this to be strange since the owner suggested getting a dog before my arrival in Mexico.  But I was grateful to have a roof over my head at the time.

But his didn’t stop the love with Niewlha  as she would then greet me in the darkness of the early morning hours while I waited for the bus to teach my 7:30 am classes.  As a result, there were days when I arrived to school with paw prints on my dress shirt and tie to teach class.

And some evenings she would be right there when I arrived back at night to greet me.

Anytime I had to purchase any food at the store she would also visit me.  There was so much love reflected back from each other.

A student once stated how surprised he was that I adjusted so well to Mexican culture.

It was Divine Love that was with me and it showed up in tangible ways to meet the human need.

Everyday when I arrived at school it was like walking into a bundle of love from my students.

I found it in Niewlha and late night candlelit talks  on the phone with a person I call “Night Ranger” who use to work for The Christian Science Monitor, TMC and the BA.  Our nightly talks continue to this day.

Healing came in moments of prayer and even bitter tears after learning of my grandfather’s suicide.

There were CS practitioners that helped me through the difficult times too.

I am grateful, God.

I now watch after a rescue dog that belongs to the son of the captain of the ship we sail, on the days I work the booth selling tickets.

Photo below is Niewlha: I miss you.

Mrs. Eddy and Ellen DeGeneres on Insufficient Freedom + Queen Elizabeth – All Keeping abreast of the times.

 

To my sense, the most imminent dangers confronting the coming century are: the robbing of people of life and liberty under the warrant of the Scriptures; the claims of politics and of human power, industrial slavery, and insufficient freedom of honest competition; and ritual, creed, and trusts in place of the Golden Rule, ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.’

New York World, December, 1900

Insufficient Freedom

 (Mary Baker Eddy, reprinted in Miscellany 266: 3-9)

*Matthew 7: 12 (Golden Rule)

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Video – Published on Apr 7, 2016

On Wednesday, in a poignant monologue on her show, Ellen DeGeneres addressed Mississippi’s Religious Freedom Bill. Here are some of the things she had to say: “I’m disappointed for several reasons… that is the definition of discrimination. It’s also something that the Supreme Court already ruled on when they made marriage a right for everyone, everyone… I was fired for being gay and I know what it feels like. I lost everything. But look at me now. I could buy that Governor’s mansion, flip it and make a $7 Million dollar profit… there’s already so much inequality in the world. Women’s rights, gender pay gap, racism. I think we need to remember that we are more similar than we are different. So I advocate for less hate and more love. Less tearing apart and more coming together. Less sitting and more dancing.”

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Pledges to Fight Anti-Gay Discrimination

By Dennis Hinzmann

Associated Press

It seems like common sense that national leaders, governmental figureheads, and global influencers should care about all of the people they govern and whose lives their decisions affect. That’s why, during her annual address to Parliament today, Queen Elizabeth II adapted to the times and, for the first time ever, included LGBTQ rights in her outline for the United Kingdom’s policies moving forward.

“My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability, or sexual orientation,” the Queen said. Though a single sentence in a lengthy speech, this type of acknowledgement and visibility will only help the LGBTQ community moving forward.

The past has proven how much even a simple nod of recognition can boost the morale of a country’s LGBTQ community [and prevent suicide].

https://www.out.com/news-opinion/2017/6/21/queen-elizabeth-pledges-fight-anti-gay-discrimination

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A Child is Saved By a Light on the Water. (A Demonstration).

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a fredrogershero to me.”

—Fred Rogers

 

 

A Child is Saved By a Light on the Water.

by Rob Scott, C.S.

June 22, 2017

 

A family arrived at the marina yesterday on a large,  beautiful boat.  They departed onto the dock with four, young teenagers.

I asked out of curiosity if all those kids were theirs which the father replied that three are their biological children and they are in the process of adopting one boy from another country who is from an orphanage.  The young boy seemed to have a slight limp to the human sense.

But I saw only the love and knew that the so called deformity would disappear to the human sense with the stability of a home and all that unconditional love which was evidenced from their family.

They are currently a host family for him right now through a special program and the whole family  fell in love with him unconditionally.  He will max out of the orphanage very soon due to his age.

The father told me privately that the boy lived in deplorable conditions at the orphanage and may had even lived on the streets.  But you could see the strong bond with his new family, especially with the mother whom he seemed not to stray too far from.

I told the father that this event may be one of the single greatest things he has ever done by making a change for goodness.  It will effect future generations of the adoptive boy’s children and his children’s children.  He will also get a good education.

I felt the same warmth come over me like I did when I taught my students in Mexico.  Perhaps it was from seeing “hope” in action which I taught in my conversation classes.  This feeling of warmth stayed with me for awhile as I knew the boy was saved.

I closed by saying to the father that too bad we couldn’t here a story like this on the evening news.

They latter all blew the horn on their ship and waved goodbye as it motored out of sight.

It was a light on the water passing through with love and hope.  This is evidence that divine love can make a difference

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” said Christ Jesus (Matt. 18:20). The Christ is at the heart of Church. It’s the love for God and the love for one another expressed in daily living. Jesus himself walked the countryside teaching and healing people. His “church” happened on a mountainside, a marketplace, or in someone’s home. “When people talk of church today, it’s often in reference to a physical structure,” writes Ethel Baker in this Sentinel’s cover story. “But to Jesus,” she adds, “church hinged on one thing: the ever-present Christ, the truth and spirit of God and His creation” (p. 22).

(From the January 17, 2011 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel)

Thank you for allowing me to witness this testimony, God.

And if you want to know where “hope” is then look around as it is all around us. All you have to do is look.

Never let “hope” fade.

It is “hopelessness” that people get stuck in” NOT “Hope”.

“Never give up, right teacher?”

Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind,

 

♫ Lord of the Rings – Into the West (with lyric)

A Light On the Water …

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Powerful Guardian – George Frideric Handel

 

Powerful Guardian of all nations, O preserve Thy children.

Save Thy children from all their enemies, Save Thy children from all their enemies.

Blessed is the man whose hope is in the Lord, O blessed is the man.

O blessed is the man whose hope is in the Lord.

Powerful Guardian of all nations,  Powerful guardian of all nations.

O preserve Thy children,  Powerful guardian of all nations,

O preserve thy children.

Lumos

  • Words Above had been Sung by a Soloist during a previous Wednesday Night Testimony Meeting here in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  Logo is from a charitable foundation set up by J.K. Rowling to eliminate and replace all orphanages which put profits over the care of the children.  “Lumos” is a light saving spell from one of her Harry Potter book series.

CSMonitor EqualED & J.K. Rowling – Why changing the mindset of students for acceptance and equality among peers is vital.

 

… it shall be the duty of the Directors to see that these periodicals are … kept abreast of the times.

Mary Baker Eddy

Several articles and editorials have been written explaining why homosexuals cannot be admitted to membership.  One of these I wrote myself, the title: “Homosexuality Can Be Healed.”  All I can say in defense of myself for writing it is that it was based on information I thought was authentic, but which later was disproved by further studies.  If I were to write another article on the subject now, I would probably entitle it, “We’re ALL God’s Children.”

by Carl J. Welz,  C.S.B.

Houston, TX – October 11, 1986

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“It really is all about … changing the mindset [of the school] to do what’s best for the kids,” Principal Owens says. “When you know better, you do better.”

“It takes time,” Owens says. “But this is 2017. Things are different. We can’t keep responding the same way we did 15 or 20 years ago.”

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Freedom Writers Field Trip to Washington D.C. – “We all held hands as we left the hotel.  We took a walk to the Washington Memorial … and their was a 150 of us [holding hands] and we didn’t let go…we stopped  traffic … and you could feel the presence that this was something bigger than us…we’re changing the world.”

Students from Erin Gruwell’s Field Trip

 

 

Why a good racial mix may also create a sense of comfort at school

A new study suggests that middle-schoolers in more racially diverse schools feel safer and less alone.

JUNE 21, 2017 

Creating school where kids feel that they ‘fit’

The authors of the new research attribute the well-being of students at more diverse schools to a broader sense of acceptance and equality among peers.

“We presume that in these types of environments, there is a good balance of power among the groups and … students do not feel intimidated or threatened by students from other ethnic groups,” says Jaana Juvonen, professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and lead author of the study. “There are also likely to be multiple norms for behavior and looks, hence it is easier for any one student to find their niche and feel that they ‘fit in.’ ”

“There’s kind of this renewed emphasis on integration and diversity in the US,” Wells says. “If we don’t tackle these issues of integration, these schools won’t be stable and they won’t be sustainable over time.”

Changing the mindset of a school

The school has in recent years stepped up its efforts through the professional development of teachers, honest conversations about issues of diversity among faculty and staff, and collaboration with parents and the outside community, according to principal Cecelie Owens.

“It really is all about … changing the mindset [of the school] to do what’s best for the kids,” Principal Owens says. “When you know better, you do better.”

Among the student body, West Hertel has worked to foster an environment of inclusiveness through schoolwide projects and regular events celebrating different cultures, adds Rebekah Barbera, a fifth-grade ENL (English as a New Language) teacher at the school.

They note that progress has been slow – as experts say it often is – but noticeable.

“It takes time,” Owens says. “But this is 2017. Things are different. We can’t keep responding the same way we did 15 or 20 years ago.”

https://www.csmonitor.com/EqualEd/2017/0621/Why-a-good-racial-mix-may-also-create-a-sense-of-comfort-at-school?