Website: Broward Health Offers Tax Money To Settle Fraud Probe





Taxpayer-assisted Broward Health offered roughly half the money it taxed property owners last year to settle federal Medicare and Medicaid fraud allegations.

The settlement offer is $69.5 million, according to the investigation website

Broward Health taxed property owners $146.1 million last year.

The public health system, which taxes property north of Griffin Road, also spent $10.2 million for legal expenses handling the investigation, the Bulldog said.

Even before the huge settlement offer, the hospital district has been under financial pressure, a second website said. wrote that the hospitals’ “uncontrolled and undisciplined fiscal policies” were running huge deficits. is highly critical of the North  Broward public health system and its Republican governing board, appointed by Gov. Rick Scott. 

In a post earlier this week, took the unusual step of blaming Scott and three of his local supporters who helped get him elected for putting “Broward Health at risk.”

The website named “Broward (healthcare) lobbyist Billy Rubin, followed by (Broward Health) Board chairman David DiPietro and his proxies on the Board, followed by Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca.”

The Floridabulldog story can be found here.

The Brwdhealth piece is here.



17 Responses to “Website: Broward Health Offers Tax Money To Settle Fraud Probe”

  1. Doctor says:

    So…you are writing an article about another article..whose author is obviously against every single person on the board of…just the republicans.

    Why don’t we go back and look at some of the disasters that were created over 10 years ago with ridiculous contracts to doctors and promises to our community that would have never have been able to be kept. I’m pretty sure that these problems are not new. I mean…really, a cardiologist making a million dollars a year…for TEN YEARS. That’s just absurd, honestly. And that’s coming from a doctor!

    Let’s remember that the current board is having to negotiate and sift their way through a mess that was created over a decade ago. People complained about the old CEO…he was fired. Now, we complain about the new CEO…it’s a vicious cycle. Unfortunately, managing a huge hospital district with a billion dollar budget is probably a little more difficult than one would assume. But what would I know…I’m only a self-employed doctor who makes a normal salary.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all of Broward Health’s issues will not be solved in a day either.


    My only goal was to refer readers to posts on two other blogs that I found interesting. One,, describes itself as a non-partisan investigative website. The second,, was clearly formed as a critic of the current Broward Health board.

  2. Clarification please? says:

    I am not following. I read both articles. What, if anything, can El Sanadi be held responsible for when he has literally only been there for a few months? What does Lamarca have to do with Broward Health other then being buddies with DiPietero? It also looks to me that half of the Broward Health Commissioners haven’t been there all that long either yet they’re already putting Broward Health at risk? How? Not sure if you have these answers or not Buddy- but it’s all very vague and speculative.

  3. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    What is this using tax dollars to pay off settlements. Sure some of you, what do you give a shit its not your money. Same thing in Ft>lau(thank you Larry B for letting the residents know about all the boo -koo money that they (or should I say we)are shelling out. Yes, Comm.Trantalis let th e cat out of the bag when Mayor Seiler tried sand-baggin him over a land swap deal in Victoria Pk. Be careful w/ Trantalis Mayor. So then Trantalis acknowledges the wages (raises ) for the city atty, auditor). So they are all getting raises(our money) while using this piss poor excuse that when we negioatiated the pay for th e city atty, we had a misunderstanding(really). What really happened is the city atty, saw the boo-koo money the city manger. was making along w/ the auditor and wants the same loot. All this was going to be approved (no back up($)until Comm.Trantalis stated “show me the money”. Basicly because Seiler tried embarrassing him… All w/ our money.. Seems to be going around as you point out w. these hosp. commissioners….

  4. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    What I don’t get is why the INDIVIDUALS who committed the fraud are not paying the settlement OR BEING SUED BY THE HOSPITAL! Why should the blameless public have to people pay? we didn’t commit fraud!

  5. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    In regards to tax payer funds being used to pay off settlements and other issues involving tax payer funds in regards to employees(yes) using city hall as some sort of pick up joint(I am going to expose you) the records request have been made(huh JM). Will see….

  6. Just Saying says:

    These problems date back at least four years ago, well before Dr. El-Sanadi became the district CEO less than a year ago. Good for him for trying to clean up these messes and get them behind him and his work.

  7. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The government of Broward County is conducted in COUNTY Hall, the government of the City of Ft.Lauderdale is conducted in CITY Hall. No wonder the County Commissioners never see complaints, some people send them to the city hall not the COUNTY HALL in their ignorance of government.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s “beau coup” (not “boo koo”).

  9. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    Facts are sketchy here and that’s not your fault. And for sure, South Florida is the capital of Medicaid and Medicare fraud though that rarely if ever involves a hospital of the caliber of Broward Health. I happen to know those folks and they are consummate professionals.

    But from what we know, these facts don’t seem to involve phantom billing where the person billed for doesn’t exist, or the service for a known person was never provided. Or double billing, where a service provided to a known and eligible recipient was billed more than once.

    It also doesn’t look like the patients who received the care were Medicaid or Medicare ineligible. Or that the services they received were not medically needed.

    Those are the most common forms of fraud, when done intentionally — the outrageous cases that demand punishment by way of stiff fines or prosecution.

    But this rule? Where a doctor can’t refer his patient to the hospital he works at? Because he has a “financial stake” in the hospital — meaning what in the case of a public hospital? That they pay him a salary? I don’t even get what the hell a rule is about. What doctor doesn’t refer patients to the hospital they work at?

    That’s not even how medicine works.

    What? You go to a doctor with chest pain, the doctor says look I need to operate immediately or you will die. Patient says, you do these surgery? Doctor says yes, indeed she’s a cardiac surgeon but thing is you can’t go to XYZ Hospital where I work because then that’s a referral. You have to go somewhere else where I don’t work?

    What sense does that make?

    And then, Medicaid or Medicare is going to fine the hospital — not the doctors — but the hospital $70 million for having provided a setting in which the operation and recuperation service that the patient needed was provided?

    Objectively speaking, realizing we don’t have the facts — does this scenario compute for you?

    And that on a thing of this nature taxpayers should have to shoulder a $70 million fine through their own publicly supported hospital?

    I’m all for stamping out fraud and abuse of public funds, don’t get me wrong. There’s too much of that and it costs taxpayers too much money. But this thing, well, I don’t know whether it passes the fairness test just based on what facts we have.

    People take a lot of pot shots at the North District. Let’s never forget that they carry the heaviest load when it comes to serving the poor and unemployed in this community, always have and frankly they are a sterling health provider by any standard you’d want to impose. Let’s make sure this is fair and accurate, that we have all the facts, before we start throwing the “fraud” word around.

    This scenario doesn’t compute for me and I happen to know that the people running Broward Health are for certain very smart, ethical and capable people. A little restraint until we have all the facts is all I’m saying because what little we know so far doesn’t add up. And a $70 million fine to a public hospital against what facts we have sounds outrageously unfair.



  10. michael miles says:

    Is it some big secret that The North Broward Hospital District has been used as a Republican Part piggy bank long before the current crop of administrators was installed?

  11. REALLY says:

    Buddy, I am just wondering if Angelo is speaking as a BSO Official in charge of the so called investigation and information that he said they know now and the details are sketchy??? So Angelo is releasing information from an on going BSO investigation into medicare and medicaid??? He has no investigative authority as a civilian and leaking information from an investigation violating BSO rules and regulations. Also, he posted it at 7:19 am while on BSO time again.

  12. poor dan says:

    Went all out for Lamraca with the blue card hoping Chip and Dave would remember the favor. In the end he can’t get approved to sell a stuck of gum at Broward Health. If Dan doesn’t get a sweet contract fr Mitch Ceaser if he wins Clerk, how long until an anti Broward Clerk website goes up?

    If true, didn’t Dan try to get contracts from BH…. ? Of so, would these facts raise question of bias in the article on the Broward Health page?

  13. sohara says:

    I think it’s important to point out that this is a “settlement,” meaning that Broward Health AGREED to it, rather than fight/defend their apparently fraudulent practices. That’s a lot of taxpayers money to waste, dollars that could be used to treat the poor, elderly, homeless in need of healthcare. What a shame.

  14. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:

    On a positive note, at least Angelo isn’t making vaguely homophobic statements this time.

  15. Broward Voter says:


    You make a fair point. They did agree to settle and pay that amount. It took two parties to agree to a number. I simply find $70 million excessive given what facts have been presented.

    Short of the scenarios I mentioned, I can’t fathom how it’s fair to fine a public hospital such an amount. If all we’re talking about is physician referrals of patients to the hospital where they practice medicine — a rule I still don’t understand since that practice is integral to the normal practice of medicine — then the amount, even if agreed to in settlement, is excessive.

    Some fines charged for violating a rule that doesn’t involve phantom, ineligible or double billings? OK, we can live with that.

    Establishing a corrective action plan to ensure alignment with regulations? Yes.

    Additional follow-up to make sure they do it right in the future? No problem. Five years of additional follow up after that? OK, fine.

    All that makes sense for violations of what amounts to hyper-technical rules where the patient always got what they needed under the program.

    But $70 million in fines for a public hospital?

    Sorry, but forcing a public hospital into that scenario even under settleme is just beyond reason absent some stronger evidence that does not appear to exist. It’s just way out of line.

    I get sick and tired sometimes of audit weenies running around bayonetting the walking-wounded for having the guts to actually serve the public.

    Show me something at the district that warrants a $70 million fine and I may agree. No question that serious violations require serious consequence. But based on the facts out there now? The amount is WAAAAYYYY over the top and as a taxpayer I resent it.

    Broward Health is one hell of an organization and I have tons and tons of respect for what they do in our community day in and day out. Lots of folks out there in the cheap seats throwing bombs, they should try to actually do patient care for a few weeks and then they’d learn what’s what.




    My problem is the health care experience of the appointments.

    Frankly, they were no better under Democrats. Gov. Lawton Chiles appointed, among others, a hospital board member whose sole qualification seemed to be that he was a Century Village condo complex Democratic leader. Another Chiles appointee was a Democrat who served as the governor’s liaison to the Jewish community. A third was a Hispanic attorney who backed Chiles’ election.

    You get the picture.

    Gov. Rick Scott has appointed:

    Maureen Canada — a marina operator.

    David DiPietro — an attorney, GOP strategist and fund raiser.

    Joel Gustafson — An attorney and former aide to the late U. S. Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale.

    David Neland — A former U. S. State Department law enforcement officer.

    Sheela VanHoose — A Broward Schools lobbyist and former Scott director of scheduling.

    Rocky Rodriquez — Former GOP Property Appraiser appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush and a Realtor.

    Darryl Wright — Retired military who served two terms in Iraq.

    The folks I know personally on the Broward Health Board of Commissioners have many achievements.

    But as the case with Democrats, health care experience does not seem to be necessary to get an appointment to the billion-dollar public health system — Broward Health.

    Running a health system in a modern age solely on patronage is wrong.

  16. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    You’ve written before, several times I think, either here or perhaps during your time with the newspaper, about concerns regarding how Florida law provides for taxing district appointees. The observation deserves consideration. I too found it odd when I first arrived in Florida that we had appointed and not elected representatives of taxing districts.

    However, my response was simply to say that given the facts reported these fines just seem excessive. And the rule for which the fines were generated needs further explaining because I don’t quite get why doctors should not be able to refer their own patients to hospitals where they work simply because they are on Medicaid or Medicare. That rule just doesn’t compute for me, for sure I worry that such rules are bad for patients.


  17. Ha Ha Ha says:

    A very amusing story about taxing districts:

    Self-interested business owners successfully petitioned the Columbia, Missouri, city council to create a local Community Improvement District, which would have the authority to impose a half-cent sales tax increase with voter approval. However, the district lines were drawn in a manner that attempted to avoid containing any eligible voters, meaning that property-owners themselves would get to decide on the sales tax increase as a way to avoid further property taxes to pay for improvements.

    Unfortunately for them, things didn’t exactly go according to plan. It soon became known that a single voter, University of Missouri student Jen Henderson, was registered to vote in the new CID. That means that she alone will get to decide whether or not to approve the sales tax increase. …

    Predictably, Henderson is not pleased with how manipulative this process has been. She was even asked to de-register so that the vote would revert to property owners. While Henderson hasn’t publicly stated which way she plans to vote, she sounded skeptical of the proposed sales tax increase and rightfully pointed out how it is regressive in nature while the benefits accrue mainly to incumbent businesses.

    In a delicious twist of irony, if Henderson votes against the sales tax increase or the vote is called off entirely, the only way for the CID to pay off its debts will be to levy further taxes on property, which is exactly what these businesses were trying to avoid. …