33 people in Miami are facing charges of Medicare fraud – including doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals. A total of 91 people face charges in seven cities across the country. These arrests come as part of a nationwide crackdown by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.
According to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “Today’s arrests put criminals on notice that we are cracking down hard on people who want to steal from Medicare. The health care law gives us new tools to better fight fraud and make Medicare stronger.”
That new law also allows HHS to stop Medicare payments to health care providers suspected of fraud and suspend payments until an investigation has been resolved. HHS suspended or took other administrative action against 30 health care providers.
Medicare fraud typically involves submitting claims to Medicare for treatments that were either medically unnecessary or never provided. In some cases, patient recruiters and beneficiaries collaborated with providers to allow providers to submit fraudulent billing to Medicare. Collectively, the 91 providers being charged have been accused of submitting about $429.2 million in false billing.
The defendants charged have been accused of a variety of crimes, including:
- conspiracy to commit health care fraud
- health care fraud
- violations of anti-kickback statues
- money laundering
The 33 individuals being charged in Miami allegedly participated in various fraud schemes. Collectively, they allegedly falsely billed $204.5 million for home health care, mental health services, occupational and physical therapy and DME.
In addition to criminal charges, those accused of Medicare fraud or other fraud against the federal government may be subject to administrative punishment. If you have been accused of Medicare fraud or a similar white collar crime, it is important to work with an experienced, aggressive criminal law attorney who can protect your rights and represent your interests.
Source: The Rock River Times, “Medicare fraud strike force charges 91 individuals for approximately $430 million in false billing,” Oct. 4, 2012