In "Nobody knows what's going on" (Today's Editorial, Sept. 15), an ongoing problem is described.
Big pharmas have once again been found screwing Medicaid, which at the end of the day is you and me - the taxpayer. When caught charging 53 times more than they were supposed to, five companies claimed an honest mistake and paid a pittance fine "to avoid the uncertainty and expense of litigation," while admitting nothing and denying culpability, only to go on until the next time they get caught with their hands up to their elbows in the cookie jar.
The conundrum: In this day and age of automation, why don't the hospital computer systems red flag these aberrant charges the moment they occur? Failing that, perhaps this is a solution - the state of Hawaii passes a law that requires pharmaceuticals to either pay no less than 100 times the government's allegation of overcharging or go to court. Had that law been in effect, the fines in the example case would have been $8.2 billion instead of only $82 million. Now that should get their attention.
David L. Florence