Medicare Fraud Strike Force Nabs 111 in 9 Cities
The 111 people charged on Thursday are accused of various healthcare fraud-related crimes, including conspiracy to defraud Medicare, criminal false claims, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. The charges are based on alleged fraud schemes involving various medical treatments and services such as home health care, physical and occupational therapy, nerve conduction tests and durable medical equipment.
Prosecutors said the defendants participated in schemes to submit claims to Medicare for treatments that were medically unnecessary and often never provided. Indictments and complaints allege that patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries and other co-conspirators were paid cash kickbacks to supply beneficiary information to providers, so that the providers could submit fraudulent billing to Medicare. Collectively, the doctors, nurses, healthcare company owners, executives and others are accused of submitting more than $225 million in fraudulent billing, DOJ said.
· In Miami, 32 defendants, including two doctors and eight nurses, were charged in various fraud schemes involving a total of $55 million in false billings for home health care, durable medical equipment and prescription drugs.
· In Detroit, 21 defendants, including three doctors, three physical therapists and one occupational therapist, were charged in schemes to defraud Medicare of more than $23 million, in cases involving false claims for home health care, nerve conduction tests, psychotherapy, physical therapy and podiatry.
· In Brooklyn, NY, 10 people, including three doctors and one physical therapist, were charged with fraud schemes involving $90 million in false billings for physical therapy, proctology services and nerve conduction tests.
· In Tampa, 10 people were charged in connection with schemes involving more than $5 million related to false claims for physical therapy, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.
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