Federal authorities conducted the largest Medicare fraud bust ever in five different states (including Michigan and New York), arresting dozens of suspects accused in scams totaling $251 million. In total, 94 suspects have been indicted and 36 were arrested this morning including doctors and nurses in Detroit, New York City, Miami, Houston and Baton Rouge, La. They are accused of billing Medicare for unnecessary equipment, physical therapy and HIV treatments that patients typically never received.
In light of President Barack Obama’s proposed health care overhaul, federal authorities have promised more money and manpower will go to fighting Medicare fraud. Around the country, Medicare fraud has evolved from tiny scams into schemes involving a sophisticated network of doctors, clinic owners, patients and patient recruiters. Violent criminals and mobsters have also begun to tap into the scams, viewing Medicare fraud as more lucrative than dealing drugs.
For instance, federal agents busted a medical center in Brooklyn, N.Y., charging eight people with running a $50-million scam that submitted bogus claims for physical therapy. The clinics owners were paying patients in exchange for their Medicare numbers and a bonus fee for recruiting new patients.
This comes after Federal authorities launched a strike force in Miami in 2007 to target the Medicare Fraud. The program has since expanded to seven cities (including Detroit and Brooklyn) leading to more than 720 indictments that collectively have billed the Medicare program more than $1.6 billion.
For questions or concerns regarding government investigations, please contact Robert S. Iwrey, Esq., and for questions or concerns regarding fraud and abuse, please contact Adrienne Dresevic, Esq. of The Health Law Partners at (248) 996-8510.