I have been trying for a long time to access data from the FBI on the basis of an FOIA request. I started out about 10 years ago and asked them for specific data pertaining to their pre-911 role of auditing physicians billing practices and determining whether or not a physician had committed "fraud" based on a mismatch between the billing statement and the document of the clinical visit. I know that they had specific documents about this practice and even briefly published a journal detailing their strategies and tactics. At one point that data was online and then it disappeared. In order to have a closer look at FBI activity in the area of health care fraud I filed the original request that resulted in no data. This year, I looked at the FBI reading room again and it discussed the wide availability of information in that venue that could also be copied and sent at a cost to the requester. Using the FBI form and broadening the request to data pertaining to health care fraud, I completed the following form on the FBI web site on September 1, 2012 (click graphic to expand):
If data is declassified and available to the public, why jump through all of these hoops to get it? If the data was available, I don't think it would be too hard to trace the FBI activity in health care fraud against physicians and get all of the facts out on the table. As it stands both price tags in this FOIA request are too steep for me and that story will have to be written at another time. As with many problems that occur with our government that time is usually when anyone who cared about the issue, all of the politicians responsible for it, and the bureaucrats who actually administered it are long gone.
George Dawson, MD, DFAPA