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Mental health, rehab services on new frontier of Medicare fraud

Miami Herald, July 14, 2010

As the feds squeeze tighter, South Florida's Medicare schemers have scurried into new territory to loot hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers, now billing the system for bogus mental health, physical therapy and other rehabilitation services. The magnitude of the region's fraud is astonishing: Florida mental health clinics submitted $421 million in bills to Medicare last year -- about four times more than Texas and a whopping 635 times higher than Michigan, both also hotbeds of healthcare rackets, according to government records. Florida rehabilitation facilities billed $310 million for physical and speech therapy -- 140 times more than New York and 10 times higher than California, records show.