I would like to respond to your article "Is this the mob or healthcare?" (June 21, p. 60). The piece described the rough-and-tumble prosecution tactics that led to the Medicare fraud conviction of four healthcare executives in a case involving Baptist Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has responsibility to investigate more than 300 federal violations, including healthcare violations. As you are undoubtedly aware, healthcare fraud costs the American taxpayer more than $100 billion every year. The Kansas City division of the FBI intends to continue to investigate healthcare fraud properly and aggressively-our No. 1 investigative priority.
Your article stated "many in the healthcare community worry that Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway in Kansas and her FBI investigative team have set a bold new standard for scorched-earth techniques that are more suitable to use on drug dealers and mobsters than healthcare executives and physicians."
The FBI conducted the investigation consistent with our normal investigative techniques, which we use in all investigations, including those focused on organized crime and drug trafficking. Our position is that any individual who commits a crime should be subject to a fair and honest investigation. Our investigative standards and the burden of proof are the same for all criminal violations. It would be inappropriate, and against the interests of justice, to use a different set of standards for healthcare executives and physicians than for other people involved in criminal activity.
I am proud of the investigative efforts of our agents in this case and was pleased that the jury concurred with the prosecutor's presentation of evidence. The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate healthcare fraud consistent with our core values of "fidelity, bravery and integrity."
Special agent in charge
Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Justice Department
Kansas City, Mo.