200 people were charged in the largest crackdown ever on suspected Medicare fraud. Amounted to $712 million in allegedly false billing. U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch and FBI Dir. James Comey said latest sweep in governments nationwide strike force against Medicare fraud has led to criminal charges against 243 people.
Including 46 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. Suspects are accused of scams ranging from identity theft to money laundering and conspiracy to commit health-care fraud.
Dozens arrested were charged with defrauding the Medicare prescription-drug program. Represents largest criminal health-care fraud takedown in history of dept of justice.
Medicare Fraud examples include:
- Billed for equipment that wasn’t provided
- Care that wasn’t needed
- Services that weren’t rendered
Crackdown are due to increased sophistication of computer programs that detect patterns of potential fraud, triggering investigations. Florida has been a major focus of such investigations.
73 charges were made against Miami residents. Accused of a total of $263 million in various fraud schemes. Texas has 29 residents in Houston, McAllen and Dallas where defendants were charged with coaching Medicare beneficiaries what to tell doctors to make them seem eligible for treatment. L.A. Doctor was accused of causing Medicare nearly $23 million in losses for fraudulent billing which included more than 1,000 power wheelchairs that weren’t medically necessary and not even provided.
Arrests were also made in Detroit, New Orleans, NY and Tampa, FL. Also charged: Administrators of mental-health center received tens of millions of dollars from Medicare. Officials said the scale and scope of health-care fraud is even bigger.
FBI is currently pursuing about 2700 investigations of suspected health-care fraud. Shows that doctors and other healthcare are more likely to “milk” the system than “welfare queens”. Even despite ever-growing list of state restrictions on how public benefits can be utilized.
Americans remain convinced that there’s a lot of waste, fraud and abuse in the system. Believe stronger controls would keep undeserving citizens from taking advantage of the system. The fraud exists but it’s not as big as most people think, not large enough to make a dent in the federal budget.