September 9, 2011- On Wednesday, ninety-one people across eight cities were charged with fraud against Medicare. Federal investigators announced it was their largest catch in the history of the Medicare task force. Over $295 million was the total amount that those arrested were trying to fraudulently get from Medicare.
The fraud was committed via services that were not provided, providing kickbacks, money laundering and threatening recipients of Medicare if they did not participate in the fraud.
In Miami, forty-five of the ninety-one were charged with falsely billing over $159 million for mental health services, physical therapy, medical equipment, HIV infusion and home health care. There was one case in Miami where a home health care business owner paid kickbacks to patients if they would falsely say they had received the company’s care.
The health care law that went into effect last year has created new harsher sentences for health care fraud as well as funding to purchase the latest technology that gives an opportunity to investigators to see claims to determine any patterns before they are actually paid.
One psychotherapist in Detroit was charged for billing in excess of 24 hours in a single day and for providing treatment to patients who were already dead. One halfway house owner in Miami threatened eviction to those that did not attend mental health meetings at a local community center, even if they were not necessary.