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Saturday, November 24, 2012
Sen Josh Green: Doctors Need Florida Pill Mill Company to Survive Financially
By Andrew Walden @ 8:03 PM :: 8444 Views :: Hawaii County , Akaka Bill, Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

In a letter to a constituent November 12, Sen Josh Green (D-Kona) claims to have been acting to save doctors from losing their practices when he wrote August 24 to the County of Honolulu asking that the County pay a disputed bill from Automated Health Care, Inc. 

Wrote Green:     

In this case, several people were concerned that if they didn't receive their reimbursements, which are hundreds of thousands of dollars behind from the city of Honolulu and others, they would immediately be laying off staff or worse, their docs would stop seeing injured workers altogether.

Since the amount in dispute is owed to Automated Health Care, Inc, a medical re-billing company tied to Florida pill mills, the “several people” who have yet to “receive their reimbursements” can only refer to the executives of Automated—although Green clearly intends the constituent to believe that the jobs and practices of local doctors and nurses are at stake.  The only employees Automated could “immediately be laying off” would be at the company’s Florida headquarters.  Why a multi-million dollar company like Automated would suffer “immediate layoffs” over a $400,000 billing dispute is not clear, but the reference makes perfect sense if Green’s intent is to deceive his constituent. 

Green claims:

I simply asked the city to amicably resolve their differences, so that doctors and nurses could get fair and timely payments for care they already had delivered to injured workers. Otherwise these doctors told me they wouldn't be able to practice in Hawaii any longer….

Doctors using Automated to factor-finance their lucrative ‘dispensing’ practices have already been paid.  Honolulu’s billing dispute is not with doctors but with Automated’s extraordinary markups as described in the Star-Advertiser November 11:

Douglas Chin, the city's managing director, told Green in an Oct. 29 letter that the city considers the Automated HealthCare matter an internal billing dispute and urged the senator to use his position to investigate what Chin characterized as abuse in the dispensing of prescription medications by physicians.

That abuse, Chin wrote, has caused exponential increases in prescription drug costs for the city and state. He cited multiple examples, including one in which Automated HealthCare billed the city $832.37 for a muscle relaxant that cost the physician $14.40 and that a local pharmacy sells for $57.65 — about 14 times less than what Automated HealthCare charged.

Here is Green’s November 12 email in its entirety:

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am always committed to making sure we deal with our healthcare crisis in Hawaii, especially the shortage of physicians and nurses (we are 22% short now).

In this case, several people were concerned that if they didn't receive their reimbursements, which are hundreds of thousands of dollars behind from the city of Honolulu and others, they would immediately be laying off staff or worse, their docs would stop seeing injured workers altogether.

I simply asked the city to amicably resolve their differences, so that doctors and nurses could get fair and timely payments for care they already had delivered to injured workers.

Otherwise these doctors told me they wouldn't be able to practice in Hawaii any longer, making our physician shortage worse. Everyone in Kau and Kona knows how bad this would be if that happened.

As the only physician in the legislature people all across the state ask me everyday to reach out to major institutions like the city or state or insurance companies to get them access to care, to get their practice reimbursed for care they have delivered, to get them a new wheelchair, to help get their loans forgiven if they commit to undeserved areas, the list goes on and on.

I am humbled to try and get everyone access to healthcare in a fair and timely way in Hawaii and that is all my letter to the city of Honolulu was about.

Josh

---30---

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