Erin Brockovich Hailed as Hero by Workers' Compensation Activists as News Accounts Reveal Brockovich's Latest Lawsuit against Adventist Health of Roseville, Ca.

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Medicare usually stuck with workers’ compensation tab, letting employers off the hook.

Handicapped, disabled and injured workers and activists are expressing vindication in California as Erin Brockovich has thrown the spotlight on a Medicare billing mess involving the Adventist Health hospital chain of Roseville, Ca.

“My former employer, the Adventists, have been sticking Medicare with the tab for their workers’ compensation obligations for years in direct violation of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (enacted in 1977, 42 U.S.C. 1395y),” reports nurse Barb Clark who has an on-going Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) lawsuit against the Adventist Health hospital chain (see Kern County Superior Court of Bakersfield, Case No. S-1500-CV-0000245966).

“Like so many others, I have had to seek medical treatment via the Medicare program even though I have orders from a workers’ compensation judge for medical treatment,” reports Clark, who sued the Adventists in 2001 under the RICO Act for failure to pay her medical bills. “They simply don’t think they have to pay, period. End of story,” she said.

“Handicapped, disabled and injured workers lucky enough to have Medicare are treated while their ex-employers stick Uncle Sam with the tab and walk out on their obligations,” Clark continued. “In the end the Adventists receive yet another federal government subsidy, a free ride on the back of Medicare,” she said.

Clark claims to have written nearly two dozen letters to Secretary Michael Leavitt of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the ultimate federal Medicare official. “The response is no response. Medicare over billing is the dirty little secret in the medical industry. Hats off to Erin Brockovich, she is a hero,” Clark reported.

Congress is apparently addressing this problem with the introduction of H.R. 5309, known as the Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers' Compensation Settlement Agreements Act of 2006, sponsored by Rep. E. Clay Shaw (R) of Florida.

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Larry Nign
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