A record Medicare fraud bust–totaling $1.2 billion in wasted tax dollars–may just be the tip of the iceberg in a case that keeps raising troubling and expensive questions.FraudLife & Health
CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports it is a tale that begins with the arrival of a box.
“There is all kinds of goodies in here,” 77-year-old Paul Haak said after receiving his package.
“OK, let me see what this precious box has in it,” added 84-year-old Rosann Kelly.
The boxes didn’t contain anything “precious” and no “goodies.” Rather, it was a bunch of medical braces–for legs, ankles, arms, and backs.
“I don’t need these at all,” said 81-year-old Nancy Mayer, after she opened her box of braces.
Haak didn’t need any braces either, but his box contained five of them, for which Medicare paid $2,531.18.
“There’s no way I’m going to get this on,” said Haak, struggling with a knee brace that he had idea how to use.
Records show Dr. Kenneth M. Pelehac was the doctor who prescribed all five of Haak’s braces.
Haak said he never heard of Dr. Pelehac, and never talked to a doctor regarding the braces. Approached outside his Southwest suburban house, Dr. Pelehac did not respond to CBS 2’s questions. He also did not respond to repeated phone calls about Haak’s case.