Among the many allegations related to Medicare, Medicaid and Tri-Care fraud linked to Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for Florida governor, the one that produced a secret Scott deposition just days before he filed for governor, along with the most interesting moment of the campaign was the allegation that his new company, Solantic — the one he owned after leaving Columbia/HCA holding a $1.7 billion federal fine (plus a $300 million parting gift for Scott) — also committed fraud, this time, using doctors’ licenses without their knowledge and billing Medicare improperly for patient care. Those allegations caused Scott to go ice cold when he was served a subpoena in the middle of a press conference about a week before the August 24 primary. Now, the Reid Report has obtained an email alleged to be the one Bill McCollum’s campaign referred to authorities for investigation. The email is from Dr. Randy Prokes, who the Herald described this way:
Just what Scott said in the deposition is anyone’s guess. But since it was captured on video, the deposition’s release is the stuff of an attack ad — this race’s signature, with both sides spending upward of $40 million and counting on negative commercials.
The lawsuits, accusations and mean-spirited ads reveal the vicious inner workings of campaigns that stand behind the smiling faces of the candidates. Tuesday’s verbal slugfest was the clearest sign that the Republican race was tightening with the Aug. 24 primary just two weeks away. Scott has put McCollum on the ropes for weeks, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that the political newcomer seemed on the defensive.
The new 46-page lawsuit filed by Andrews actually seeks to declare Scott and Solantic “public hazards” and reads like one long attack ad against Scott. The suit rehashes the Columbia/HCA story, suggests Solantic broke the law and mentioned the allegations of yet another doctor, Randy Prokes, who claimed in an e-mail that Solantic committed a number of questionable billing practices that distantly echo the Columbia/HCA Medicare fraud case.
Prokes hasn’t returned calls to his cell, home and office for more than a week. McCollum’s staff turned his e-mail over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate. Prokes was fired from the clinic for writing prescriptions for opiates without following proper guidelines, though the matter was never referred to authorities.
“The allegations made by Dr. Prokes are untrue and unfounded,” Nathan Newman, Solantic’s chief medical officer said in a conference call just before Scott’s press conference. “Solantic is being unfairly and wrongly used by the McCollum campaign as a political stunt.”
The email, which TRR is working to authenticate, is below:
Read the full email here.
I’ve emailed Dr. Prokes to get his response. More on Prokes’ allegations here.