The True Face of Medicare Fraud
Written by Editor   
Friday, July 03, 2015 03:08 PM
Quick Brief:  A $712 million bust, the biggest in U.S. history, shows that the people most likely to bilk the system are medical doctors and medical providers


A $712 million bust, the biggest in U.S. history, shows that the people most likely to bilk the system are medical doctors and medical providers.  US Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s announced arrests in what she called “the largest criminal healthcare fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice.” A total of 243 people were arrested and charged with stealing $712 million from Medicare. The arrests included 46 medical doctors, nurses, pharmacy owners, and other medical professionals.  Medicare’s prescription-drug program is a common target for fraud, it turns out.

 

 

Facilities billed the federal government for therapy sessions where patients were actually just moved, never treated. In a particularly disturbing case, a Michigan medical doctor allegedly “prescribed unnecessary narcotics in exchange for patients’ identification information, which was used to generate false billings. Patients then became deeply addicted to the prescription narcotics and were bound to the scheme as long as they wanted to keep their access to the drugs.”

A medical doctor in Los Angeles is accused of being responsible for $23 million in losses alone, after he prescribed 1,000 power wheelchairs that were not medically necessary and in some cases weren’t even delivered to patients. People in three Texas cities were arrested for allegedly coaching patients so that they could get doctors to prescribe unneeded drugs.

While Thursday’s bust may be exceptionally large in scale, it isn’t unusual in type. Looking back through government news-release archives shows similar announcements: $260 million in false billing, including 27 doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, here; $223 million in false billing, again involving doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, there.

Not only are doctors who rip the system off stealing from taxpayers, they’re reshaping public opinion in ways that harm the people who truly need health care.


Source:  http://chiro.org/wordpress/2015/06/19/the-true-face-of-medicare-fraud/