Feds arrest 91 doctors, nurses and others for Medicare fraud

Attorney General Eric Holder said the "takedown underscores the fact that federal efforts to combat health care fraud have never been more strategic, more comprehensive or more effective.” Attorney General Eric Holder said the "takedown underscores the fact that federal efforts to combat health care fraud have never been more strategic, more comprehensive or more effective.” Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP file photo

In another tandem operation targeting fraudulent health care billing schemes, the Justice and Health and Human Services departments have arrested 91 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals on charges of fraud totaling $430 million.

The alleged crimes perpetrated in seven cities include more than $230 million in home health care fraud, more than $100 million in mental health care fraud, and about $49 million in ambulance transportation fraud. Charges filed in the previous 24 hours included health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, wire fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering, Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference Thursday attended by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other top Justice and HHS officials.

The charges involved “treatments and services that were either medically unnecessary or, in some cases, never actually rendered -- ranging from home health care and mental health services to psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy, durable medical equipment services, and the largest ambulance fraud scheme ever prosecuted by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force,” Holder said. “Such activities not only siphon precious taxpayer resources, drive up health care costs and jeopardize the strength of the Medicare program -- they also disproportionately victimize the most vulnerable members of society, including elderly, disabled and impoverished Americans.”

The 2010 health care reform law, Sebelius added, “gives us new tools to better fight fraud and make Medicare stronger. In addition to the arrests made today, HHS used new authority from the health care law to stop future payments to many of the health care providers suspected of fraud, saving Medicare resources and taxpayer dollars from being lost to fraud in the first place.”

Since the two departments created the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, known as HEAT, in May 2009, it has helped the government recover more than $10.6 billion in improper payments, Holder said. “Today’s takedown underscores the fact that federal efforts to combat health care fraud have never been more strategic, more comprehensive or more effective.”

He thanked state, local and tribal law enforcement for the coordinated effort, which involved 500 officers overall.

The cities where the alleged schemes took place were Baton Rouge, La.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles and Miami.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.