Several federal agencies, working together, announced a major nationwide health care fraud sweep which resulted in the arrests of almost 250 people. Among those arrested were physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, who were all accused of defrauding both Medicare and Medicaid systems. According to investigators, the effort uncovered more than $700 million in allegedly fraudulent billing.
Many of those charged allegedly billed the government for services that were never received and medical equipment which was never provided to patients. Prescription drug fraud was also targeted by investigators, with more than 40 of the defendants who were arrested accused of defrauding Medicare’s drug benefit program. Investigators say this program has become one of the fastest growing targets of fraudulent activity, with many of the prescription painkillers dispensed ending up being sold illegally on the streets to drug addicts.
Federal and state agencies were involved in the massive arrests, including the FBI, the U.S. Health and Human Services inspector general’s office, U.S. attorneys’ offices across the country, and dozens of state Medicaid fraud units. The arrests spanned the nation and involved many states. Examples of the fraud allegedly committed include:
- Administrators of a mental health center in Miami who paid middlemen to recruit fraudulent Medicare patients. Over a six year period, the center billed Medicare $64 million.
- A company in New Orleans sent blood sugar monitoring devices to patients enrolled in Medicare – whether they needed or asked for them or not. The company billed Medicare $38 million for those devices.
- A Los Angeles physician allegedly made fraudulent referrals for medical equipment. Among the unneeded equipment he prescribed were 1,000 electric wheelchairs.
There were 25 people from Illinois who were arrested in the health care fraud sweep. Among those arrested were 11 home health care providers, who are accused of billing for services that were never provided to Medicaid recipients.
If you have been charged with any kind of white collar crime, you need an experienced Oak Brook criminal defense attorney representing you. Call the offices of McPherson Harry & Associates, P.C. today at (630) 472-9700.Share This Page