Hundreds Charged for $900M in Health Care Fraud
On Wednesday, the U.S. Justice Department announced the charging of hundreds of individuals across the country with committing Medicare fraud worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The move is the largest takedown in history — both in terms of the number of people charged and the loss amount, CNN reports.
The majority of the cases involve fraudulent billings to Medicare, Medicaid or both for treatments that were never provided.
One case involves a Detroit-based clinic that billed Medicare for more than $36 million, the Justice Department said. A doctor in Texas has been accused of participating in schemes to bill Medicare for “medically unnecessary home health services that were often not provided.”
In Florida, the owner of several clinics is charged with defrauding medicare out of over $8 million for a scheme involving the reimbursement for expensive intravenous drugs. The pharmaceuticals were never actually purchased or given to patients.
“Health care fraud is not an abstract violation or benign offense. It is a serious crime,” Attorney Loretta Lynch said. “They target real people — many of them in need of significant medical care.They promise effective cures and therapies, but they provide none. Above all, they abuse basic bonds of trust — between doctor and patient; between pharmacist and doctor; between taxpayer and government — and pervert them to their own needs.”
Defendants in Florida are charged with executing more than $200 million in fraudulent practices, while individuals in California, Texas and Michigan are charged with committing more than $100 million worth of fraud in each state.