Three State Medicare Fraud Crackdown Underway Today

ericHolder.jpgAccording to a report released this earlier this morning, hours ahead of an official announcement scheduled for later today, arrests were made in Miami, Brooklyn and Detroit. Federal agents are expected to take about 30 suspects into custody from three states on charges related to Medicare fraud totaling $61 million.
The arrests follow an investigation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a partnership between the two federal agencies that started nationally in May. Click here to read an earlier blog post.
According to sources speaking on the condition of anonymity, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will hold a news conference this afternoon in New York to make the announcement of the government’s continued crackdown on Medicare fraud. A key part of President Barack Obama’s proposed healthcare overhaul targets eradicating an estimated $60 billion a year lost to Medicare fraud.
Today’s raids come a week after HHS reported that in 2008 Miami-Dade County received more than $500M from Medicare in sebeliusThumbnail.jpghome healthcare payments intended for the sickest patients. This figure is more than the rest of the country combined. To read the OIG report, click here.
Indictments are expected to charge that Florida scammers arranged for fake patients to bill for home healthcare, including homeless patients and others fraudulently listed as blind diabetics who submitted bills for visits by nurses twice-daily to give them insulin injections. See this Miami Herald video.
In Detroit, suspects paid recruiters to find patients willing to fake symptoms in order to justify expensive testing, and in turn bill Medicare for reimbursement. Two Brooklyn suspects are alleged to have billed Medicare for medically unnecessary durable medical equipment (DME), including expensive shoe inserts reserved for diabetics.