U.S. Charges 91 With Medicare Fraud
So the important question here is what else, besides after-the-fact sting ops, is the federal government doing to prevent Medicare fraud?
U.S. authorities said on Wednesday they had charged 91 people, including doctors and nurses, for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud involving approximately $295 million in false billing.
Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry announced the charges in Washington, saying they resulted from coordinated operations in eight U.S. cities carried out by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.
Sting operations went down in Miami, Houston, Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, Detroit, Dallas, New York and Chicago according to officials.
Miami defendants made up nearly half of the prosecutions, with a total of $160 million in false billings for such services as occupational and physical therapy and HIV infusion.
According to the U.S. Office of Budget and Management, Medicare and Medicaid made an estimated $23.7 billion in improper payments in 2007. These included $10.8 billion for Medicare and $12.9 billion for Medicaid. Medicare’s fee-for-service reduced its error rate from 4.4 percent to 3.9 percent.
Per the 2008 Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations, Medicare paid dead physicians 478,500 claims totaling up to $92 million from 2000 to 2007. These claims included 16,548 to 18,240 deceased physicians.
Whose issue is this, the fraudsters or the ones writing the checks to said fraudsters?