On Wednesday evening, the Justice Department announced a “nationwide takedown of medical professionals accused of fraudulently billing Medicare out of nearly half a billion dollars,” as the L.A. Times reports:
The amount of bogus Medicare claims, totaling about $452 million, was the highest in a single raid in the history of a federal strike force combating rising fraud in the medical industry, according to the Justice Department. Arrests were made in seven major cities.
The Obama administration said it was toughening its attack on those who filed bills for ambulance rides never taken and medical procedures never provided.
In addition, officials in the Health and Human Services Department suspended or took other administrative actions against 52 medical providers after analyzing billing requests and finding additional “credible allegations of fraud.”
Among the accused are equipment providers who billed Medicare for equipment that was never purchased, a home health care outfit that allegedly ran a sophisticated operation to recruit phony “patients” to receive bogus prescriptions, and doctors who billed for services they never actually provided.
It was the biggest single day of Medicare fraud arrests in Justice Department history, with busts going down in L.A., Miami, Tampa, Houston, Baton Rouge, Detroit, and Chicago. A total of 107 defendants were rounded up.