Thread: Do No Harm
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#1 Do No Harm07-07-2009, 05:33 PMDo No Harm tells the story of two reluctant whistleblowers in a small Georgia town who endure relentless attacks as they struggle to draw national attention to hospital corruption and the plight of the uninsured.
At the center of this story is Phoebe Putney, a non-profit hospital in Albany, Georgia whose influence is felt by most residents - everyone knows someone who works at Phoebe, owes Phoebe money, or who has been to the hospital for treatment. In 2003, Dr. John Bagnato and accountant Charles Rehberg stumble upon evidence that the hospital is overcharging uninsured and indigent patients and is using aggressive collections tactics to recover costs. Their subsequent investigation uncovers millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts and lucrative for-profit businesses under the control of the non-profit hospital - not only at Phoebe, but also at non-profit hospitals around the country. And shockingly – this is all entirely legal.
When these discoveries become public, Bagnato and Rehberg become the targets of threats and intimidation, and are eventually prosecuted by local authorities for blowing the whistle on the hospital's practices. With their reputations and livelihoods on the line, Bagnato and Rehberg must confront what they’re willing to sacrifice to bring about justice.
I was working in Abany at the time this was happenning. I'm friends with Charles Rehberg's brother. Everyone knew Phoebe was crooked, they just figured there was nothing to be done about it. Dr. Bagnato and Charles started digging up info and faxing "Phoebe Factoids" to all the city businesses they could. Phoebe Putney came after them hard, even had them locked up. They were both acquitted, due to them getting info from public records and it being entirely true.I feel that once a black fella has referred to white foks as "honky paleface devil white-trash cracker redneck Caspers," he's abdicated the right to get upset about the "N" word. But that's just me. -- Jim Goad
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