Justice Department charges 412 in $1.3 billion health care fraud

BY JAMES SMITH | PUBLISHED: 07-17-2017

Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that 412 arrests have been made in charges related to health care fraud altogether costing the government $1.3 billion.

About a third of those charged, including some 50 physicians, are accused of criminal behavior with regard to opioid prescriptions, including collecting money for phony rehabilitation treatments and billing Medicare and Medicaid for drugs that were never purchased, according to a report by The New York Times.
In one case, a cardiologist in New York was arrested Thursday and accused of dealing in kickback agreements with diagnostic facilities. In another, the operator of a drug treatment center in Florida is charged of fraudulently billing insurance companies more than $50 million for bogus tests and treatments.

Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.

"Thanks to these efforts, fewer criminals will be able to exploit our nation's opioid crisis for their own gain," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

Addiction to narcotic pain relievers is a major health crisis in the U.S., with hydrocodone and oxycodone being the most commonly abused. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 91 Americans die each day of an opioid overdose.

Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, says there were 59,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. last year.

"I know we overuse certain words in the lexicon like unprecedented and historic and unique," Rosenberg said, in the Times report. "But this is an epidemic.

 

 

Comments
Laurel Kornfeld - 5 hours ago
Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.
Laurel Kornfeld - 5 hours ago
Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.
Chad Young - 6 hours ago
Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.
Chad Young - 6 hours ago
Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.
Vicky Webb - 6 hours ago
Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.
Paul Pate - 6 hours ago
Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.
Laurel Kornfeld - 6 hours ago
Arrests were made as part of a Medicare fraud task force launched in 2007. Since its creation, task force has charged more than 3,500 people for more than $12.5 billion in phony billings.