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Our Bodies, Our Data
Adam Tanner, 2017, 218 pp.
Unknown to consumers, patient medical data is a multimillion worldwide trade industry between our health-care providers, drug companies, and a complex web of middlemen. This great medical-data bazaar sells copies of the prescription you recently filled, your hospital records, insurance claims, blood-test results, and more, stripped of your name but possibly with identifiers such as year of birth, gender, and doctor. As computing grows ever more sophisticated, patient dossiers become increasingly vulnerable to reidentification and the possibility of being targeted by identity thieves or hackers.
Paradoxically, comprehensive electronic files for patient treatment—the reason medical data exists in the first place—remain an elusive goal. Even today, patients or their doctors rarely have easy access to comprehensive records that could improve care. In the evolution of medical data, the instinct for profit has outstripped patient needs. The author tells the human, behind-the-scenes story of how such a system evolved internationally.
The world’s dominant health-data miner, IMS Health now gather patient medical data from more than forty-five billion transactions annually from 780,000 data feeds in more than 100 countries. The author uncovers some of IMS’s hidden past and follows the story of what happened in the following decades. This is both a story about medicine and medical practice, and about big business and maximizing profits, and the places these meet, places most patients would like to believe are off-limits.
The Domino Effect
Davis Bunn, 2016, 325 pp.
Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Bloomington, Minn, 55438
A father told his son that in times of crisis these are only two alternatives to abject and crushing defeat. Either you are first off the station block or you cheat. The bad guys in this novel find a third option, which is to combine the two.
Esther Larsen, a top risk analyst at one of the U.S.'s largest banking institutions, must stop the bad guys because she is becoming more and more convinced there is a ticking bomb with the potential to make the 2008 market crash look minor by comparison. As her own employer pursues "investment" strategies with ever-increasing levels of risk, she becomes convinced she must do something. But Esther is only one person; can she stand up to an international conspiracy of greed? And if she does, will anyone take her seriously?
Every moment of indecision edges the markets closer to a tipping point--the teetering first domino in a standing row that circles the globe. When Esther finds her voice, those she seeks to expose do not sit idly by. With global markets on the brink, and her own life in danger, Esther is locked in a race against the clock to avert a financial tsunami that threatens worldwide devastation.
An excellent read!
Chain of Title
David Dayen, 2016, 385 pp.
The New Press
120 Wall Street
New York, NY, 10005
So it was not uncommon to find cars motoring past West Palm Beach’s shiny subdivisions during the great recession. Process servers contracted by “foreclosure mill” law firms, so named because they pumped out foreclosures the way a textile mill would fabrics, made their daily rounds here, unsmilingly handing homeowners legal documents and informing them that as a result of their failure to pay their mortgage promptly, their lender would place them into foreclosure.
A car dealership worker, a cancer nurse, and an insurance fraud specialist helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history-a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose.
Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak did not work in government or law enforcement. They had no history of anticorporate activism. Instead, they were all foreclosure victims, and while struggling with their shame and isolation they committed a revolutionary act: closely reading their mortgage documents, discovering the deceit behind them, and building a movement to expose it.
Harnessing the power of the Internet, they revealed how the financial crisis and subsequent recession were fundamentally based upon a series of frauds. The author recounts how these ordinary Floridians challenged the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth-and for a brief moment brought the corrupt financial industry to its knees.
The three citizens unearthed another layer of the mystery, too. After they exposed foreclosure fraud and forced the nation’s leading mortgage companies to stop repossessing homes, they saw firsthand the unwillingness of our government to deliver any consequences. In fact, walk into any courtroom today and you will see the same false documents, the same ones Lisa, Michael, and Lynn exposed, used to foreclose on homeowners.
L.B. Schlachter and J. Bechtel, 2017, 247 pp.
307 West 36th Street
New York, N.Y. 10018
Recent research ranked medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. In addition, the study found that more than 250,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical error. And patients have enormous difficulty finding out if their doctor has been sanctioned, and if he has, why.
The author, a neurosurgeon and attorney shows how most patients enter the health-care system without any idea of the risks they face due to a medical culture that denies the existence of a patient safety problem. He argues that this medical culture avoids transparency, perpetuates an atmosphere of blind deference to doctors, and protects dangerous doctors from accountability.
Drawing on more than two decades of experience, the author provides alarming case histories that illustrate the risks patients face whenever they seek diagnostic evaluation or go under the knife. This book provides an all-access pass to the inner sanctums of the health-care citadel, exposing the cultural flaws that fuel doctors’ egos and outlining the steps every patent should take to protect themselves.
Two excellent chapters are “In the Courtroom” and “Rational Responses to Malpractice.” He says the legal standard of care “is whatever will get the doctor off the hook that his/her lawyers can sell to the jury with a straight face.” It is a “moving target, and defendant physicians can be quite disingenuous in their efforts to avoid specifying exactly what it is.”
Healthcare Fraud: Investigation Guidebook
Charles E. Piper, 2016, 205 pp., paperback
Taylor & Frances Group
6000 Broken Sound Parkway NW
Boca Raton, FL 22487-2742
This book takes you to the next level. The author not only assists in identifying healthcare fraud schemes, but also provides helpful instructional guidance on how to investigate those fraudsters so that their wrongdoings can more likely be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and/or by the preponderance of evidence. This knowledge causes wrongdoers to be held accountable and wrongly obtained funds to be recouped through fines and judgments.
This handy book also emphasizes the importance of simultaneously searching for waste and abuse as well as systemic weaknesses and deficiencies that caused or contributed to the problem or wrongdoing under investigation and then by make recommendations for improvement.
The objective of this paperback book is not to just put a Band-Aid on the problem of healthcare fraud, but to try and cure it. Those tasked with the responsibility of investigating healthcare fraud also should strive to improve the healthcare and payment systems not only by investigating fraudulent activity but by also detecting and deterring other future instances of fraud, waste, and abuse.
How They Stash the Cash
Mark Kohn, 2012, 114 pp.
Sourced Media Books, LLC
20 Via Cristobal
San Clemente, CA 92673
For many years, this forensic accountant has worked in the field of forensic accounting, specifically in the area of forensic accounting. Such a forensic accountant is involved with the determination of how much money the spouses earned (often looking for hidden income).
Here are some of the actual cases which the author encountered:
Peter B. Doran, 2016, 337 pp.
Penguin Random House
375 Hudson Street
New York, N.Y.10014
Crude is a substance that no one wants to touch, smell, or taste yet everyone wants to control. Since oil occurs where it is needed most, that question of control ultimately comes down to distance, geography, risk, technology, and greed. At the height of the great oil boom of the 1800s, John D. Rockefeller was seemingly unstoppable. Capitalizing on the newly emerging industry that was changing the lives of people worldwide, Rockefeller eliminated his rivals to achiever near-total domination of the market.
By 1889, Rockefeller was at the peak of his power, having created one of the largest monopolies in history, so powerful that even the U.S. government was wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses—that is until the unlikely duo of Marcus Samuel and Henri Deterding teamed up to form Royal Dutch Shell, and set the stage for the toppling of Standard Oil.
A thrilling account of ambition, oil, and greed traces Samuel's rise from canny outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding’s conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller's oil empire. Taking readers through the rough and tumble of East London’s streets and the twilight turmoil of tsarist Russia to the halls of the British Parliament and right down Broadway in New York City. The author offers a richly detailed fresh perspective on how Samuel and Deterding beat the world's richest man at his own game.
Anne Applebaum says that “in this story of the origins of the modern oil industry, these are plenty of lessons for the present.”
The Social Organism
Oliver Luckett and M. J. Casey, 2016, 292 pp.
1290 Avenue of Americas
New York, N.Y. 10104
Social media is being used increasingly as evidence in the courtroom, and forensic accountants must learn how it works, how it is changing human life, and how it can be masters for good and profit.
In barely a decade, social media has positioned itself at the center of twenty-first-century life. The combined power of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine have helped topple dictators and turned anonymous teenagers into instant celebrities. In the social media age, ideas spread and morph through shared hashtags, photos, and videos, and the most compelling and emotive ones can transform public opinion virtually overnight.
How did this happen? The scope and pace of these changes have left traditional businesses—and their old-guard marketing gatekeepers—bewildered. We simply do not comprehend social media's form, function, and possibilities. It is time we did.
The authors offer a revolutionary theory: social networks—to an astonishing degree—mimic the rules and functions of biological life. In sharing and replicating packets of information known as memes, the world's social media users are facilitating an evolutionary process just like the transfer of genetic information in living things. Learn how forensic accountant can use social media for fighting crime and in the courtroom.