I’ve purposely not written about this because of all of the fallout. Not to mention that since I’ve become a part of management at my company I have to take care as to what I say. I’m certainly free to express my opinions about any topic, but with this particular subject I have to be a little more circumspect than I normally would.
Over the past few weeks there has been a lot of publicity, not to mention considerable controversy, over the disciplinary action taken against 213 EMT’s in Massachusetts. These people were found to have been on rosters of refresher classes and ACLS recertification classes that never happened. Their existence, according to the findings of the investigation, was falsified. And money was exchanged.
The two people that were found to be the “ringleaders” of this mess were revoked in Massachusetts for life. A number of others were suspended for 2 years and some others were suspended for 45 days. There are reasons for these suspensions that exist, and I will try to make sense of them. The vast majority were suspended for 9 months.
One point that needs to be made clear in all of this is that the people involved are not new providers and this wasn’t initial training or education; the vast majority of them are senior-level providers with years of experience.
The scale of this is absolutely staggering. And I suspect this is only the beginning. I say this because this has spread into both New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Because of the money exchanged there are tax implications. People who used these certifications to re-license or renew the provider certificates, whether they know it or not, committed fraud. Then there is the issue of patients who could potentially claim they weren’t cared for by qualified providers. And I haven’t even touched on the Medicare/Medicaid implications.
It makes me sad, and it also makes me angry. Sad because so many people were involved. Angry because it didn’t have to happen.
One thing that will likely happen is that the whole education and certification process will be revamped. The overhaul process could take years
As I said, I suspect this is only the beginning. And it’s going to become more painful as time goes on.