government

Health professionals charged with a quarter-billion dollars of Medicare fraud

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 27, 2013

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Medicare fraud schemes involving an alleged $223 million in false billings led to charges against 89 individuals in eight cities, federal officials said.

The Obama administration accused those charged with health fraud crimes such as conspiracy to commit fraud, anti-kickback statute violations and money laundering, officials said during a May 14 news conference at the Justice Dept. Alleged schemes involved home health, mental health, therapy, medical equipment and ambulance services. Defendants had submitted claims to Medicare for these services that were unnecessary or never provided, according to court documents.

In some instances, the government alleges that patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries and others paid cash for beneficiary identification data to bill for services that never occurred.

Arrests were made in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chicago; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; and Tampa, Fla. Those arrested included physicians, nurses and other health professionals.

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