Florida voters gave gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott the nod of approval in the November 2, 2010 elections. However, Scott who beat Alex Sink in the Florida Governor’s race, admitted to 14 counts of Medicare fraud and paid the federal government more than $600 million dollars in fines for his fraudulent billing practices.
“In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA rose to public attention when it pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in what the Justice department then called the largest fraud case settled in the history of the Justice department.
A series of New York Times articles, beginning in 1996, began scrutinizing Columbia/HCA's business and Medicare billing practices. These culminated in the company being raided in July 1997 by Federal agents searching for documents. Among the crimes uncovered were doctors being offered financial incentives to bring in patients, falsifying diagnostic codes to increase reimbursements from Medicare and other government programs, and billing the government for unnecessary lab tests.Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO. He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million, mostly from his initial investment In 1999, Columbia/HCA changed its name back to HCA, Inc.”
State wide, Florida voters gave the victory to Scott with only a 48% to 47% margin. However in Hernando County, the breakdown of voters who approved of the candidate who admited to Medicare fraud was 51%. for Scott and 43% for Sink.