Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Federal agents raid huge Medicare fraud operations in five states

The Justice Department struck a major blow for Medicare fraud prevention Friday. No-nonsense health care reform was introduced in these states to health care company owners, medical billers, nurses, and doctors in coordinated raids by the feds. Authorities announced charges against 94 individuals in what is being called the largest coordinated series of federal health care fraud cases in U.S. history. $ 251 million was stolen by the defendants through the Medicare system, and they are being charged for all of it. Article source – Federal agents raid huge Medicare fraud operations in five states by Personal Money Store.

Medicare fraud catches many crooks

Federal agents made arrests at alleged Medicare fraud operations in five cities Friday in Miami, Baton Rouge, La., Brooklyn, N.Y., Detroit and Houston. Reporting on the Medicare fraud scheme, ABC News said that the government said doctors, nurses and health care professionals accepted cash kickbacks from medical service providers to approve services that were unnecessary or never delivered. These services, HIV infusions, home health care, and physical and occupational therapy, would be charged to Medicare although they never happened.

Health care reform requires that Medicare fraud stop
To battle health care fraud as part of its health care reform agenda, the Obama administration launched the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team in 2009. Federal prosecution is used alongside electronic claims by this special team that was put together to find the main way Medicare fraud is done, through illicit billing. The arrests came as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held the first in a series of regional “summits” on health care fraud prevention in Miami. As part of the health care reform agenda, this Medicare fraud raid was essential to let businesses know the Obama administration means it.

Medicare fraud shown easily

There were numerous Medicare fraud operations that weren’t even hard to see. In Brooklyn, NY, $ 70 million was stolen in an operation with a “kickback room” that gave 1,000 kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries according to the Washington Post. There was one investigation showing individuals lined up for illegal payments with a sign of a woman speaking in Russian, “Don’t gossip.”.

Miami for Medicare fraud

All arrests were made by 350 agents that worked for either the FBI or Health and Human Services’ inspector general’s office. Since 1965, when the Medicare started, it was the biggest takedown of fraud. Most of the people were arrested in Miami on the same day as the fraud summit. The Miami Herald reports that About 25 suspects, including a longtime general practitioner, were charged in Miami-Dade County for allegedly submitting about $ 103 million in fraudulent bills for home health care, HIV therapy and medical equipment services, as outlined by federal indictments.

More information available at these sites

ABC News
abcnews.go.com/WN/government-agents-uncover-medicare-fraud-operations-cities/story?id=11180320&page=2
Washington Post
washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/16/AR2010071603876.html?hpid=topnews
Miami Herald
miamiherald.com/2010/07/16/1733354/crackdown-nets-about-100-medicare.html



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