Nationwide Health Care Fraud Takedown Results in Charges against 301 Medical Professionals for Approximately $900 Million in False Medicare Billings
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On June 22, 2016, Federal officials completed a three-day nationwide takedown announcing charges against 301 medical professionals who allegedly defrauded Medicare of more than $900 million in fraudulent billings. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said the three-day takedown represents the largest number of arrests, spread over the greatest number of districts and featuring largest dollar amount that the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has made since it was founded nine years ago. For more details on the Strike Force, click here. The Arrests.The arrests occurred in 36 districts across the country and involved doctors, pharmacists, physical therapists, home health care providers and other medical professionals, according to Lynch. “Every one of them betrayed the basic principles of their professions,” Lynch said. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the defendants announced today are charged with various health care fraud-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. The charges are based on a variety of alleged fraud schemes involving various medical treatments and services, including home health care, psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy, durable medical equipment (DME) and prescription drugs. More than 60 of the defendants arrested are charged with fraud related to the Medicare prescription drug benefit program known as Part D, which is the fastest-growing component of the Medicare program overall.To read the DOJ’s press release in full, click here.
One Suspect Eluded Capture for Ten Years.According to a report on NPR, one of the individuals arrested had been involved in fraudulent Medicare billings for over ten years. Although he was not a healthcare provider, he apparently was so successful that he went around the country showing others how to set up schemes to defraud the government. He was alleged to have been personally responsible for more than $100 million in stolen money from the government. In the same NPR news story, a government official bragged about how quickly the government was now acting to detect fraud and take action against the fraudsters.
As Fraud Continues, the Strike Force Vows Not to Stop.The Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, warned: "We will not stop here." She stated: "We will work tirelessly to prevent these programs from becoming targets and fight fraud wherever we find it."To read one of my prior blogs on a previous DOJ fraud bust, click here. Contact a Health Care Attorney Experienced in the Representation of Medicare and Medicaid Fraud.The Health Law Firm and its attorneys routinely represent physicians, dentists, orthodontists, medical groups, clinics, pharmacies, assisted living facilities (AFLs), home health care agencies, nursing homes, group homes and other healthcare providers in Medicare and Medicare investigations, audits and recovery actions.To contact the Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.Source:Kass, Dani. “BREAKING: Feds Announce Arrests In $900M Medicare Fraud Takedown.” Law360. (June 22, 2016). Web.About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620. KeyWords: Medicare fraud, Medicare investigation, Medicare Strike Force, health care fraud-related crimes, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, money laundering, aggravated identity theft fraudulent claims, Medicare overbilling, Medicare fraudulent billing, defense attorney, defense lawyer, Medicare fraud defense attorney, Medicare termination, Medicare exclusions, The Health Law Firm"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999. Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.
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