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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Textbook fraud? Troubles at Rick Scott's hospital chain featured in business ethics classes



1273635 The book is "Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases" and it's included on a number of college syllabi across the country, including this class at Florida Atlantic University.

Rick Scott is featured in Case #13: The Healthcare Company: Learning From Past Mistakes.

Scott was CEO of Columbia/HCA, which the textbook describes as a company where "health-care services and staffing ... often took a back seat to the focus on profits." The case study describes Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Charlotte as the focal point of a federal investigation that resulted in $1.7 billion in Medicare fraud fines.

The textbook points out that federal investigators alleged that Scott and another executive "were briefed routinely on issues relating to Medicare reimbursement claims that the government charged were fraudulent." Scott resigned from the company and was never charged with any crimes.

In its post-Scott existence, Columbia/HCA had "a new emphasis on compliance, integrity and social responsibility," according to the textbook. New training seminars focused on ethical compliance and quality issues. The company developed a code of conduct and created an internal mechanism to report wrongdoing.

The chapter ends with a list of questions for students to ponder, starting off with this: What were the organizational ethical leadership problems that resulted in Columbia/HCA's misconduct?


[Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:32pm]


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