Friday, June 13, 2008

Medical Labs on Wheels--Often Scam Artists' Enterprises

--Here are the Nuts and Bolts of how the "Rolling Medical Labs" Operate, Often for the Benefit of Scam Artists

Step right up. It's free, free, free--do you hear? Free.

This is the kind of carnival barker pitch you will often get as the "Rolling Medical Lab" sets up for business in the parking lot of your mall, health club, church, or retirement home.

While the sponsoring institution is cited as the one upon whose premises the lab tests out of these trailers are taking place, often, said institution is only half aware of what's going on. They were assured that the lab's income would be derived from the various health products that would be sold to the testees, plus referral commissions procured for steering them through the proper medical channels.

Half the story. Many of these providers are nothing more than the next Ronald McDonald of the Fast Fraud Set.

The untold half is billing the insurer for services never rendered by changing bills, or by submitting fake ones.

How do the scam artists do it?

All victims are treated as if they are getting old, when everything dries up or leaks. The older you get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for. The scam artists know this and make it easy for you.

Then...

Medical tests hastily performed, rapid removal of wheel levelers, pullout of the trailer from the parking lot. Poof! Gone! On to the next town to round up a new bunch of suckers.

Are all of these traveling Med shows con jobs put on by scam artists?

No. Some are legit.

How can you tell?

It's tough. All you can do is grill people from the sponsoring institution and gage for yourself how deep their knowledge of practices and background runs. Chances are, not deep. But, you might get lucky. As the old saw goes: Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then.

Plus, take these protective steps:

1) Never sign blank insurance forms.

2) Never give blanket authorization to a medical provider to bill for services rendered.

3) Be very clear--right up front--on any charges and what you will be expected to pay out-of-pocket.

The scam artist ideology prevails: Neither borrower nor lender be; theft increases your assets while avoiding all taxes.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. Scam artists know every one of them..

When it comes to rolling medical labs, don't let yourself get short-changed.

21 comments:

Swubird said...

Con Man:

Thanks for the tips. I've never been to a rolling laboratory, but I sure wasn't aware that they could be scamming people. What a rcket.

Have a nice day.

Ione Hesber said...

Oh no, not the rolling medical labs too. These are always such nice, smiling people. Who can you trust.

Ariel J said...

I've had blood pressure and Xray tests done in these. It's hard to believe that these could be scams. The people are always so nice, and accomodating. This is very disappointing, and makes you wonder who you can trust anymore in this crazy world we live in.

Terry said...

I understand this applies even to such low level, quick physical checks as blood pressure readings...terribly high charges. You can only shake your head in disgust. I feel the same way about this as others do here. And it is all so sneaky, behind your back...you don't even know how much charges are being rung up against your insurance companies.

Jack Payne said...

Yes, people, the PR of the Med Lab Boys is just about the best anywhere. Their smiling, slap-on-the-back good fellowship really shines. A lot of other con artists, as well as all legitimate businesses, could well take a page from their book, for their benefit.

Kevin Goodman said...

I heard John of God is comming to New York city. In fact I know somebody who paid somebody to unofficialy make sure her son gets to see him. In case you don't know he is pychic surgeon who can heal cancer by cutting open your cheek and sticking his fingers in the wound.

Warren M said...

I understand that the big hook is to get authorization for blanket billing for medical coverages. Is that right? In this case you can see how the scam could balloon into big bucks.

Jack Payne said...

Yeah, Kevin, the psychic surgeon stuff is really way out there. Their scams go far beyond the average cut-and-run medical lab con jobs.

Jack Payne said...

Warren, that's exactly it. They are angling for blanket authorization to bill your insurance coverage. This, in effect, gives them a "license to steal."

McAlee said...

Sad to say it's easy to scam anything after you've got a signature. Insurers of all types are sitting ducks for this, and I guess the scam people know this and skin them clean all the time.

Bern said...

I don't know why it is but people are so quick to sign blank insurance forms. These are the same people who are very reluctant to sign just about any other legal document until they have thoroughly read and understand it.
But, why is it that an insurance form makes them feel perfectly safe to sign, even if it is not filled in?

Jeffords said...

These Medical Examination scams come through like these scam artists who hit the lodges like the Moose, Eagles, and Elks, and put on shows for kids. They are just leaning on the name of the lodge to draw. They put on crappy shows, charge big fees, and leave.

Lynn said...

I've had blood pressure tests at these places countless times. Now it turns out my insurance was made to pay for these through the nose, without my even realizing it.

Warmer said...

Way to go, Jack. This is the kind of reporting we need on con man activitiy. We need to know the pin-pointed everyday kind of stuff that most people are not even aware of.

Terry said...

This thread sure went quiet in a hurry, Jack. What happened?

Anonymous said...

recently in my home town we had a huge fire are there any scams we should be looking for that you can tell us about, katrina, iowa floods, calif fires?

Jack Payne said...

Anonymous, dig in the Archives. Look for my post of November 6, 2007. It is an exhaustive examination of all the scams pulled off during Katrina.

Don't know what happened, Terry. But, with you around, the Comments thread is never going to really go quiet. Right? (He says in a gingerly, inquisitive way?)

mariamichelle said...

I have always wondered about these. Thanks for the great tips!

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Anonymous said...

Hmm that's interessting but frankly i have a hard time visualizing it... I'm wondering what others have to say....

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