Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: An owner of a Houston health care company pleaded guilty in connection with a $654,227 Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS).
Simone Ball, 24, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In her plea, Ball admitted that she defrauded Medicare of $654,227.
According to court documents, Ball was an owner and operator of Preferred Plus Medical Supply.
Preferred Plus maintained a valid Medicare provider number in order to submit Medicare claims for the costs of durable medical equipment (DME) and purported to provide orthotics and other DME to Medicare beneficiaries.
According to court documents, Preferred Plus submitted claims to Medicare for DME, including orthotic devices, which were medically unnecessary and/or not provided. Many of the orthotic devices were components of “arthritis kits,” and purported to be for the treatment of arthritis-related conditions, although they were neither medically necessary nor appropriate for such conditions.
The arthritis kit generally contained a number of orthotic devices including braces for both sides of the body and related accessories such as heat pads. In total, from August through December 2008, Preferred Plus submitted approximately $654,227 in fraudulent claims to Medicare.
At sentencing, scheduled for Oct. 12, 2011, Ball faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno of the Southern District of Texas; the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott; Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Russell D. Robinson of the FBI’s Houston Field Office; and Special Agent-in-Charge Mike Fields of the Dallas Regional Office of HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Laura M.K. Cordova and Benjamin O’Neil, and Deputy Chief Charles La Bella of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since their inception in March 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in nine districts have obtained indictments of more than 1,000 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2.3 billion.
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: Pipeline ruling strengthens Texas private property rights; Texas Bowl seeks new title sponsor; Insult to Injury: Texas Workers’ Comp System Denies, Delays Medical Help; American Airlines continues to shed jobs; Chemical Safety Board shut out of West probe by ATF; America’s greatest threat: Unsafe work conditions; The West News proves the value of a great weekly newspaper in a community torn up with grief and chaos; and more.