Health Care Horrors; 91 Medicare Fraud Indictments Alleged To Cost Us $296 Million!

Cases

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services’ (“HHS”) Medicare Fraud Strike Force launched a massive, multi-agency team involving more than 400 federal, state, and local law enforcement agents who investigated and charged doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals all over the United States. In eight cities, a total of 91 defendants were indicted on Medicare fraud schemes which results in approximately $295 million in false billing and false claims. There were forty-five defendants in Miami, two in Houston, ten in Baton Rouge, six in Los Angeles, three in Brooklyn, two in Dallas, eighteen in Detroit, and four in Chicago. In addition to the arrests, a total of eighteen search warrants were executed.

Attorney General Eric Holder said that those arrested are jeopardizing the integrity of the nation’s health care system. HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted that the law enforcement initiative is a powerful warning to those who would try to defraud taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, Sebelius recognized that the controversial health care bill last year-which I wrote on yesterday-created one of the strongest anti-fraud laws in history. What the Affordable Care Act does is create much longer prison terms for health fraud, increased the power of these strike force teams which helped carry out these national arrests, and it provided funding for new technology that allows investigators to see claims as they happen.

The allegations against the defendants ranged from healthcare fraud-related crimes such as conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program, healthcare fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, and money laundering. These charges spanned from medical treatments, to home healthcare services, many times of therapy such as physical, occupational, and psychotherapy, as well as mental health services.

The largest allegation of fraud was against a doctor and nurse in fraud schemes involving $159 million in false bills for home healthcare, mental health services, and occupation and physical therapy.

For one, I am happy that there are more aggressive actions being taken against those who seek to cheat the rest of us. Particularly because doctors, those considered to be a part of the social elite and looked up to, should not be taking advantage of our reverence. Don’t you agree? I’d love to hear from you. I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.