PORT ARTHUR PAIN MANAGEMENT CLINIC MANAGER PAID HIMSELF $4 MILLION WITH NO MEDICAL EXPERIENCE!

IT’S A GOOD GIG IF YOU CAN GET IT AND STAY OUT OF PRISON TOO!

U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 37-year-old Houston man has pleaded guilty to charges related to the closure of a pain management clinic in the Eastern District of Texas.

ASHLEY COLIN WALKES pleaded guilty to Misprision of Health Care Fraud today before U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.

On June 2, 2009, KRISTI ROSE, 30, of Bridge City, Texas pleaded guilty to Conversion of Health Care Benefit Program Funds before Judge Crone.

According to information presented in court, Walkes was the manager of 4500 Gulfway Medic Management, which operated primarily as a pain management clinic in Port Arthur. Under Walkes’ direction, the clinic generally saw up to 100 patients a day, most receiving Hydrocodone, Soma, and Xanax for pain management. Walkes, who had no medical training, ordered Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance patients to attend physical therapy sessions in order to receive their prescription refills. However, cash patients were not required to attend those sessions. Rose was employed as office manager of Medic Management from March 2004 until the clinic’s closure in January 2009. Walkes directed Rose to bill the physical therapy sessions as if a physician had performed them, but, as Walkes and Rose were both aware, they were actually performed by untrained, unlicensed, unsupervised personnel. Further, Medicaid, Medicare, and BCBS were billed for multiple physical therapy sessions each time the patient attended. Additionally, Rose, under the direction of Walkes, billed Medicaid and Medicare for thousands of physician office visits as a code indicating the patient spent 25 minutes with the physician, when the physician actually spent five minutes or less with each patient.

In total, Medic Management was fraudulently paid $4,315,280.21 by Medicaid, $514,390.24 by Medicare and $70,585.55 by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Walkes, who worked three days a week, paid himself over $4 million in cash and personal expenditures. As part of his plea, Walkes agreed to pay $4,900,256 in restitution and forfeit three bank accounts containing approximately $500,000.

Walkes faces up to three years in federal prison and Rose faces up to one year in federal prison at sentencing. Sentencing dates have not been set.

This case is being investigated by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tortorice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Rawls.

WOULD YOU BUY THE HOUSTON BATTERY?

BELIEVE IT OR NOT?

Forget Duracell, Eveready, Die Hard, or even AC Delco.  You need the City of Houston battery.  It’s guaranteed to run a lifetime and pull your car out of the murkiest of bayous.  It keeps your car going even in outer space in the Space City.  The cost is cheaper as well.  Get the city of Houston battery and you’re guaranteed to keep driving for life!

Note:  This is just a joke.  I spotted this battery at the Houston Fire Department.  Apparently, the city’s mechanics slap a label on some of the batteries they but for the department.  It’s likely a Die Hard under that label!

WHY DO THEY KEEP ADDING ON IF BUSINESSES ARE SHUTTING DOWN?

A LOOK AT THE WOODLANDS MARKET STREET!

First, if you’ve never been to Market Street in the Woodlands you really need to go.  It’s quite an attraction up north with all the shops and restaurants.  It’s perfect for a family outing.  It even has a movie theatre.  

But The Insite’s problem with the shopping excursion is that while a half dozen shops or more have closed since it opened, management is still expanding the center.  Major businesses like Sharper Image and Bombay are now gone while there is new construction underway. 
I’ve also seen smaller locally owned shops close their doors at the Market but they keep building. 
I know the Woodlands is a growing community but I personally don’t believe expansion should continue without the current structure being filled with tenants.  

As I walked down the neatly paved sidewalks on Monday I noticed a lot of storefronts that were empty.  
It’s almost like those hospitals that never stop expanding.  But hospitals will always have customers.  I’m not quite sure in a tough economy if Market Street can expect the same.  What do you think? 

THE READERS HAVE SPOKEN AND THE WINNERS ARE…


DO YOU AGREE WITH THE RESULTS OF THE INSITE POLLS?

There have been a few polls here on the Insite over the last two weeks. It was a chance for Houstonians and or the readers of the Insite to tell me about who they like and what you consider important in the year 2009. One of the polls asked you who should be the next Police Chief at the Houston Police Department. The votes have been counted the next Chief should be Captain Bruce Williams. We also gaged your feelings on the next Mayor of our city. That vote went to City Controller Annise Parker. When asked what your political affiliation was most of the readers said Democrat. That’s despite the Insite hearing more from the Conservative readers when it comes to posting comments. Finally, I wanted to know which issue you thought was more important. A large majority said it’s the economy stupid rather than the environment. What do you think? Do you agree with all the choices on here and what would you change if you could?

HOW COOL: HISTORY RETURNED TO THE ISLAND NATION!

ANGUILLA GETS ITS TREASURES BACK WITH THE HELP OF THE FBI!

The FBI today returned more than 100 bronze medallions to the Government of Anguilla in a ceremony during the island’s 42nd national holiday, or Anguilla Day, celebrations. The medallions were presented to The Honorable Mr. Osbourne Fleming, Chief Minister, by Samuel Bryant, Jr., the FBI Legal Attaché in Bridgetown.

“We are pleased to return these national treasures to the Government and people of Anguilla,“ said Bryant. “This is an excellent example of the enhanced international cooperation that is essential in today’s war on transnational crimes that have extended their wings across the globe.”

Through a series of investigative leads, the FBI assisted Anguillian authorities with the recovery of these religious medallions, considered to be originally the property of Franciscan friars. In the summer of 1772, these friars made their way from Spain to Mexico in the 990-ton warship El Buen Consejo. Sailing in a fleet of more than a dozen ships, the warship was one of two vessels that veered off course and ran aground off the coast of Anguilla. The remains of the shipwreck, which is of international archaeological significance, reside within Anguilla’s Marine Parks system.

“It gives me great pleasure in communicating to the FBI our thanks and appreciation on this special occasion,” said The Honorable Mr. Fleming. “We look forward to our continued participation as the world turns.”

In addition to The Honorable Mr. Fleming, today’s event was attended by a number of dignitaries from Anguilla and neighboring islands, including: His Excellency Alistair Harrison, Governor; The Honorable Mr. Victor Banks, Minister of Finance; The Honorable Mr. Wilhelm Bourne, Attorney General; The Honorable Mr. Stanley Reid, Deputy Governor; and, Mr. Keithly Benjamin, Commissioner of Police, Royal Anguilla Police Force.

The FBI has made possible the return of a number of cultural treasures in recent years, including more than 100 pre-Columbian artifacts to the government of Panama; two 15th century Ptolomaic maps to the Spanish National Police and Civil Guard; President Theodore Roosevelt’s Colt revolver used in the Battle of San Juan Hill to Sagamore Hill; a 25th Indiana Volunteer Regiment Civil War battle flag to the Indiana War Memorial Museum; three 19th century Heinrich Burkel oil paintings to the Pirmasens Museum in Germany; a 1933 edition of Pearl Buck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Good Earth; eight stone cylinder seals to the government of Iraq; and, more than 180 pre-Columbian artifacts to the government of Ecuador.

NANCY RETURNS TO THE WHITE HOUSE!

THE RONALD REAGAN 100TH BIRTHDAY RECOGNITION!

With former first lady Nancy Reagan by his side, President Obama today created a commission to plan events that will honor former president Ronald Reagan on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Signing the bill in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Obama was effusive in his praise of Reagan, even though the former Republican president’s economic philosophy set the government on a radically different course from the one Obama is pursuing.

“President Reagan helped as much as any president to restore a sense of optimism in our country, a spirit that transcended politics — that transcended even the most heated arguments of the day,” Obama said. “It was this optimism that the American people sorely needed during a difficult period — a period of economic and global challenges that
tested us in unprecedented ways.”

In his four months in office, Obama has steadily assailed the economic principles that Reagan stood for. But there are times for partisanship and policy — and today was not one of them.

Obama praised Nancy Reagan, describing her as a first lady who redefined the role and praising her work for stem cell research.

“There are few who are not moved by the love that Ms. Reagan felt for her husband — and fewer still who are not inspired by how this love led her to take up the twin causes of stem cell research and Alzheimer’s research,” he said. “In saying a long goodbye, Nancy
Reagan became a voice on behalf of millions of families experiencing the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Obama escorted Nancy Reagan through the door of the room. Reagan was wearing a bright red pant suit and walked with a cane in her right hand. She stood by his right shoulder as the president signed the bill with his left hand.

SEAN ROBERTS MAY RUN FOR CONGRESS!

AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE MAN WHO MAY GIVE SHEILA JACKSON LEE A RUN FOR HER MONEY!

Over the past year I’ve been asked by many community and business leaders to consider serving our community in a more official and public way. As a Houston attorney and one who has served on various boards and community projects, and as an individual who has worked within the Democratic process to help elect the most qualified candidates to represent us, I take elective office very seriously. Serving our community is a responsibility that no one should take lightly or feel entitled to. It shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip for private interest or as a tool for media exposure. It is the most noble of aspirations that requires hard work, dedication, vision, and a plan to improve the quality of life for those you serve. So before committing family and friends to this journey, I want to make sure my decision is not just right for me, but also for the people of the district in which I graduated from college and law school, where I first worked as a new associate at Vinson & Elkins, and where I’ve invested in the economic revitalization with the formation of my own law practice.

Last year this time, like so many of you, I was doing my part to change the direction of politics in this country. Like so many in our community, I too felt a shift in both the direction that this country needed to go, and also the mindset needed to take us there. The candidates for whom I worked the hardest – threw fundraisers for and campaigned with, including President Barack Obama, all had one thing in common – a keen awareness that old school politics and divisive tactics no longer have a place for the new challenges we face. Instead, a call was made for a different type of community, an inclusive style of politics, and a progressive minded leader. Someone who can set an agenda, and work with people of all backgrounds to implement policy that puts people first – even when the cameras aren’t there to capture the hard work necessary to get it done.

The contributions from those present and past, that have led to this revolutionary change in psyche should remain a source of inspiration and hope as we move forward; and as I’ve spoken to many who work and live in the district that’s given me so much, I’ve been struck by how eager we all are to take make sure those contributions produce actual results – things that we can see and quantify – community revitalization, economic development, educational advancement, policies that protect the vulnerable and those needing a helping hand – single parents, seniors, those suffering from mental illness or other disabilities, and those who desire equity on the job and in society. So like President Obama, I’ve also spent time thinking how I could advance the kind of change and progress we so desperately need.

The leaders of our past were needed for the circumstances that we faced in the past, but now we face new decisions that require a new temperament, vision, intellect and ability to work with various entities and individuals, even those that don’t always see us eye-to-eye, in order to bring progress and the change we all desire, back to our neighborhoods – back to our own door-steps.

The times we face are challenging, and we can not move forward on healthcare, lost pensions, college tuition, employment, and global issues such as energy dependence, with those who support and continue to proffer small-minded politics or political opportunism.

And that’s why today I’ll be filing papers to create an exploratory committee for 18th Congressional District. In the next several weeks I’m going to continue talking to people within the district. I will listen to the ideas of those who are vested in seeing the 18th Congressional District improve and grow, and I will encourage all those who want a candidate who can set an agenda and deliver on more than rhetoric, to join with me in seeing that we are part of the movement that can deliver real opportunity and real progress. And in a month’s time, after listening to your input and considering your advice, I intend to share my plans with each of you.

In the meantime, I encourage you to contact me and invite me to join you, as we move forward to restore integrity, a hard work ethic and a real sense of unity and progress to the 18th Congressional District.

JUDGE IS RESIGNING BEFORE HE GETS IMPEACHED!

THE PRESIDENT HAS HIS OFFICIAL LETTER!

A 59-year-old convicted federal judge in Texas today informed President Barack Obama that he’ll resign next June.

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, who served in Galveston, will step down nearly one year after he goes to prison for lying about the sexual abuse of two female assistants.

Kent must report June 15 to begin serving 33 months. Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin says Kent will draw a full salary of about $169,000 a year and benefits until the resignation takes
effect.

DeGuerin says Kent decided on the delay so his wife, who recently had a brain tumor, could retain her medical benefits.

The resignation was submitted a week after denial of Kent’s request to retire on disability due to depression — which would have meant full salary for the rest of his life.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee scheduled a hearing for tomorrow.

DeGuerin says there’s no reason to continue with impeachment of Kent.

But Congressman Lamar Smith of San Antonio says Kent’s own actions “continue to prove that he is unworthy of public service.”

THEY’RE BEGINNING TO FIND THE WRECKAGE AT SEA!

A RECOVERY EFFORT IS NOW UNDERWAY!

Brazilian military pilots spotted an airplane seat, an orange buoy, and other debris and signs of fuel in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday as they hunted for a missing Air France jet that carried 228 people.

Brazil’s Navy said three commercial ships in the area were joining the search and France said it would send a ship capable of deep-water exploration.

The pilots spotted two areas of floating debris — but no signs of life — about 60 kilometers (35 miles) apart, about 410 miles (650 kilometers) beyond the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, near Flight 447’s path from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, said Air Force spokesman Jorge Amaral.

“The locations where the objects were found are toward the right of the point where the last signal of the plane was emitted,” Amaral said. “That suggests that it might have tried to make a turn, maybe to return to Fernando de Noronha, but that is just a hypothesis.”

Amaral said some of the debris was white and small, but did not describe it in more detail.

Two commercial ships that joined the search late Tuesday morning reached sites where the debris was found, said a Navy spokeswoman. They were searching for the items spotted by the plane while the third was still en route, said the spokeswoman who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with department rules.

“Once they come across the objects, they will be analyzed to determine if they are parts of the plane or just junk,” she said.