Article from The Valley Patriot Newspaper: “State Auditor’s Office Protects The Big Swamp From The Law.”

The article below by Dr. Bharani Padmanabhan was published in The Valley Patriot  in print in April.  Will update when it is available online.

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State Auditor’s Office Protects The Big Swamp From The Law

Bharani Padmanabhan MD PhD

People on food stamps are the lowest rung on the economic ladder, people who need charity just to eat. Going after poor people helps bureaucrats pretend they care about taxpayers. By targetting people on assistance, the state auditor’s office fools everyone by deflecting attention from its refusal to audit high crimes by the ‘elite’ reptiles in control of the Massachusetts swamp.

This week the state auditor’s office preened itself on identifying $10.7 million of Medicaid fraud. In absolute terms this $10.7 million is a hill of beans given that we lose $4 billion annually to healthcare fraud nationally. Given that Massachusetts’ fiscal 2018 healthcare budget is $21.7 billion, this $10.7 million is a convenient farce. Almost a rounding error at 0.049% of annual state health costs and 0.27% of the annual national fraud.

The auditor’s enabling statute, MGL ch. 11 § 12, declares: “Section 12. The department of the state auditor shall audit the accounts, programs, activities and functions directly related to the aforementioned accounts of all departments, offices, commissions, institutions and activities of the commonwealth, including those of districts and authorities created by the general court and including those of the income tax division of the department of revenue.” Note it says SHALL, not may if you feel like it.

The state auditor’s office goes after poor people to conceal the fact that the vast majority of our ‘departments, offices, commissions, institutions and activities’ go totally unaudited. As a matter of common sense, where do you think the vast majority of the money disappears? Naturally we didn’t hear about the invisible State Police salaries from the state auditor either.

For three years now Dr Michael Langan and I have been trying to get the state auditor’s office to audit the state medical board and its illegal kickback relationship with the Massachusetts Medical Society. This effort involved emails and meetings in person with Deputy Auditor Ken Woodland and with Director William Keefe, who is with the Bureau of Special Investigations and allegedly the point person to combat white collar crime. As with everything to do with state government, reality is a bummer.

Dr Langan presented Keefe with hard evidence that showed Board lawyer Robert Harvey fabricated a false document to serve as a pretext for suspending a doctor’s license as punishment for refusing to pay extortion money to the medical society. A classic protection racket with license suspension as the Board’s form of breaking the victim’s leg. At a minimum it was Keefe’s duty to report Harvey to the SJC’s Bar Overseers for violating its Rules on Professional Conduct. Keefe did not.

Dr Langan presented Keefe with hard evidence that showed Asst. AG Bryan Bertram consciously lied to the court and concealed evidence of forensic fraud and obstruction. Exactly like the state lawyers did in the Sonja Farak case. At a minimum it was Keefe’s duty to report Bertram to the SJC’s Bar Overseers for violating the Rules and obstructing justice. He did not.

Dr Langan presented Keefe with hard evidence that showed a long-running procurement fraud and kickback scheme between the medical society and Board lawyers that involved hundreds of thousands of dollars. It has been three years and the auditors have refused to audit, let alone report crime.

Two years ago I presented Deputy Auditor Woodland in person with documents showing the renting out of the Board by its lawyers to other doctors in order to ‘take out’ their competition. I also gave him documents showing the parking of tax dollars by the Board in a private foundation invisible to the public. A secret slush fund.

Here is Keefe’s response today (4/4/18): “Sir, As Ken and I have discussed with you and Michael, we will be looking into your concerns when we audit the agency. Bill Keefe.” So, when I report a crime, it is merely ‘my concern.’

It is very difficult to collect the documentary evidence but Dr Langan has done it. And the auditors are angry because now they cannot say they do not know.

Henry Morgenthau proved that everyone at the State dept. knew about the holocaust as it was unfolding and concealed the facts to avoid public pressure to save the Jews. Everyone at the state auditor’s office is no better.

The auditors know that these crimes by Board lawyers and the medical society caused numerous doctors to commit suicide in the prime of their life. These suicides occurred because the state auditor knew about the crimes and ongoing deaths of despair and did nothing. Same as the diplomats at State during the holocaust.

(Bharani Padmanabhan MD PhD is a multiple sclerosis neurologist. On July 12, 2017 the state medical board stole his license because he reported Medicaid fraud to the government. scleroplex@gmail.com)

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New Public Records Law revealing MA medical board counsel concealed criminal fraud for years; Major misrepresentations made by defense counsel to court. Falsehoods with no factual basis.

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On June 3, 2016  Governor  Baker signed House Bill 4333 imposing greater accountability on state agencies  when responding to public records requests.  This includes shorter time frames to respond to requests (10-days for most), the provision of complete and legible records and appointing a Primary Records Access Officer to handle such requests.  The new Public Records Law also subjects agencies to sanctions for failure to comply.with the new law.
On  January 9, 2017  I submitted a Public Records Request  through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Website  for a dozen or so documents that had been submitted for board hearings but never directly addressed and containing textual content with evidence that was never weighed.   Moreover, many of the documents provided direct evidence of crimes (no other is evidence needed).
All of these documents were provided  to Board counsel Deb Stoller.
Today, Sunday March 12, is the beginning of daylight savings time. It also marks the beginning of  Sunshine Week, a national celebration started in  Florida 15  years ago to promote open government, transparency and accountability.   Transparency is about shedding light.  Transparency can bring accountability, and, often, meaningful reform.
Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 3.29.35 PMIn response to a request for documents submitted for specific board hearings the board has not provided a single satisfactory response.   They have not been able to  provide a single document that is chronologically consistent with it being considered at the board  hearing for which it was submitted.   I had no expectations they would and this was the precise point of my record request.  These are documents that should exist but do not exist. The vault is empty.    None of the documents are in the records because they were suppressed on arrival and never got to the full board.  They never considered any of it.  The records do not exist.
Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 5.39.29 PM It has now been over two months and this shows how transparency is not just about shedding light on what is there but what is not there–transparency can also illuminate contrivances and lies.  If these documents existed then they would have provided them long ago and this is all coming to light as a result of Public Records Division staff enforcing new  Public Records Law and they should be applauded for their integrity, honesty and genuine concern.    In a culture of deference, impunity and apathy where giving allowances are the rule rather than the exception this agency deserves an A+ amidst a sea of D’s and F’s.
 
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The majority of documents provided have illegible or missing dates.   Undated documents have no value.   Analyzing any dataset requires  that  data-points be annotated with reliable timestamps that signify when the textual content was created and this is especially important with records that accumulate over time. Documents with message content passed on to others must be annotated with reliable timestamps that signify when the textual content was received and acknowledged by the receiver.
The  Board Records obtained June 2016  provided  pretty clear evidence that the documents were concealed .  The only documents with a decipherable date stamp included a  December 15, 2011 letter requesting an attached  “litigation packet” be provided to the board for consideration at a December 21, 2011 hearing,  The documents are all date stamped  January 17, 2012.  (nearly one month after the hearing).    AAG  Bertram dismissed the timestamp and claimed it did not reflect when it was entered into evidence but when it was scanned into the computerized records.  In truth they should be one and the same and if that is the case then where is the timestamp reflecting when it was  entered into evidence?    Bertram  claimed this occurs  after hearings not before.  It all defies common sense.
The January 9, 2017 request specifically requested a copy of the documents from the “administrative record” compiled for the December 21, 2011  hearing but in response they returned the same documents provided December 15, 2011 but date stamped January 17, 2012  –nearly a month after the hearing.

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The simple and straightforward request was made again and an appeal was filed requesting provision of the documents requested. Thankfully the  Public Records Division staff attorneys have not accepted  the logical fallacies and half-truths presented to deflect and dismiss a simple and straightforward request for documents. Supervisor of Records Rebecca Murray Ordered the  board provide a revised response and we obtained every document related to the December 2011 “litigation packet” that exists and all of the materials that Bertram claims were retrieved from storage.  All of it can be seen here:
It is a dataset with an N of 1. The only document retrieved from storage is the original December 15, 2011 letter requesting the “litigation packet” be submitted for consideration at the December 21, 2011 hearing and all of it is date-stamped  January 17, 2012 and this precludes the existence of any earlier copies.   No other copies exist!
 Take a look at the letter and all of the pages of the “litigation packet” as they are pristine.  No notations, initials, dates, scribbles or signatures.   So how were these documents “considered” at the December 21, 2011 board hearing?  At almost 50-pages did they all huddle around it or pass it around the room.
The simple fact is they were never considered by the board.  They were sitting in a drawer for a month (my guess under a bunch of moon pies and diet cokes) and then put in the system well after the hearing so no one would notice.
 In his cover letter RAO Dolan reiterates the ridiculous claim that  the date-stamp reflects when it was “bulk-scanned ” into the electronic archives and not when it was “presented to the board.”   What would be the purpose of putting timestamps on documents that have no meaning?   This is a bald faced lie and I want to call him on it.   Evidence presented for any hearing must be submitted and entered into the record before not after hearings. This is common sense but to put this to rest we can turn to the  2012  Manual for Conducting Administrative Adjudicatory Proceedings  which outlines how administrative proceedings are conducted  by professional boards.  It was also edited by AAG Quinan, the Managing Attorney of the Administrative Law, Government Bureau–the Department AAG Bertram is part of    The  “administrative record” is listed as one of the “basic principles” in chapter 1  and is second only to  “due process” M.G.L. c. 30A, § 11(8).    An administrative record must be compiled for every board hearing and indexed.   “The record is everything that is properly before the decision maker in rendering the decision.”
The manual makes it crystal clear that evidence must be compiled before hearings and anything not compiled before the hearing must be excluded!  Bertram also claimed that  “board staff”  reviewed its records and minutes and retrieved  from “off-site storage” the “materials”   that were before the Board in December 2011.”

1 The Board’s staff has reviewed its records and confirmed this to be the case.

2 To be sure, and to put this matter to rest for the Court once and for all, the Board has retrieved from off­site storage those materials before the Board in December 2011. The documents that Dr. Langan claims were “suppressed” are in fact there—and this should not be surprising given the Board’s many orders since that time, all of which have disclaimed any reliance on the July 2011 PEth test.

3 The Board’s staff has confirmed this by reviewing its minutes and confirmed this to be the case.


It has now been confirmed that the only “materials”  that exist are the documents themselves  and they are dated January 17, 2012 and this does not confirm but refutes Bertram’s claims.   In sum not a single data-point exists to support this document was before the board on December 21, 2011.   Moreover, the document provides direct evidence of crimes (no other evidence is needed).

I have requested that Bertram either provide documentation to support his footnoted claims or reveal to the court the misrepresentations.   As a government attorney he is obligated to reveal falsehood and perjury and I requested he do so.  But instead of revealing  no materials from off-site exist to support his claims he notified the court of his misrepresentation that by “offsite storage” he meant “basement”

He mentioned nothing about these major misrepresentations and dug his heels in deeper claiming that board staff did indeed   “retrieve and review those documents” and claims his “footnote representation remains uncompromised.”    His footnote representations no longer remain uncompromised.  At this point I’d say they are pretty compromised–the false contrivances are in actual fact shattered.

The off-point Bertram letter can be seen here:   ( Attachment B (6) )   “Uncompromised is a poor choice of words Mr. Bertram as “shattered” or “demolished” would be more appropriate.
Bertram claimed agency level investigation confirmed documents were before the board in December of 2011

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Reviewing Records and Minutes

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Retrieving Materials

The Reality

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These documents provide direct evidence of crimes (no other evidence is needed).

Bertram was also asked to address the “chain-of-custody error” misrepresentation.  The documents show intentional fraud.  This is no error.    The laboratory fraud seen here is similar to that of Annie Dookhan but the documents here show both of the parties involved; a state physician health program and one of the labs contracted by state physician health programs nationwide.   Precise and detailed documentation of forensic fraud was provided to a state attorney in 2011 but she concealed the documents. . I pointed this out to Bertram from the beginning and I also told him of all of the suicides that have occurred because of bogus tests just like this one.  He did not seem to care.   I notified him of another one here in Massachusetts;  a good doctor and a good person who was also subject to falsified testing and injustice involving the same actors.   I am hopeful that the transparency being provided here will lead to accountability.   Both of these attorneys need to be held accountable.

An attorney must have a factual basis for alluding to, offering or relying on evidence and that factual basis may not be wishful thinking.  There are two requirements for a factual basis — an attorney’s subjective belief and objective evidence to support that belief.

It is now established that no objective evidence exists.  Not a shred of evidence exists.

Not a single date-point with  a reliable timestamp is chronologically consistent with these documents being before the board.


Please donate to my Gofundme-  At this point I really need funding to mount a quick and effective response to these new developments.   Exposing these crooked attorneys would be a great step forward for all of PHP reform.  Please help me out.

https://www.gofundme.com/PHPReform

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