The FBI has arrested individuals in a $1.2 billion Medicare fraud scheme in New York which victimized elderly patients in order to steal their Medicare money. The US Department of Justice has issued a release stating that this is one of the nation’s largest health care frauds in history.
Medicare Fraud? Blow the Whistle
If you know of a healthcare provider, nursing home, hospital or assisted living billing fraudulently for services not provided, contact our qui tam whistleblower lawyers. You can receive a large percentage of the money uncovered in the fraud by serving as the relator. Call now: 1-844-253-8919.
Elderly Patients Victimized, Again, By Medicare Fraudsters
This recent New York Medicare scheme involved the sale of durable medical equipment to senior citizens. Durable medical equipment, also known as DME, includes prosthetics for amputees, braces for backs and shoulders, commode chairs, canes, hospital beds, infusion pumps, blood sugar tests and other forms of assistive devices.
Federal authorities allege that the durable medical equipment was either not provided, or, unnecessary medically. Many of the indicted individuals are executives in durable medical equipment companies. These executives stand accused of paying kickbacks to crooked doctors who write prescriptions for DME’s that are not needed by the patient.
The fraudsters allegedly used an international call center to field calls promising “free or low cost” durable medical equipment. These companies paid physicians to write bogus scripts of necessity for these durable medical devices, even if they were not needed by the patient. This scheme resulted in a loss to the American taxpayer of more than $1,000,000,000.
The government alleges that these ill-gotten gains were then used to buy luxury sports cars, yachts, and expensive real estate. One investigator compared these defendants to drug dealers.
The individual federal case filings can be found here.
Bilking Medicare Through Unnecessary Medical Devices
Since most of these patients are elderly or disabled, Medicare has paid the lion share of these fraudulent payments. The Department of Justice states that the 130 DME companies investigated have submitted a whopping $1.7 billion in claims to Medicare.
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“This Department of Justice will not tolerate medical professionals and executives who look to line their pockets by cheating our health care programs.” — Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski
“The defendants took advantage of unwitting patients who were simply trying to get relief from their health concerns. Instead, the defendants preyed upon their weakened state and pushed millions of dollars’ worth of unnecessary medical devices, which Medicare paid for, and then set up an elaborate system for laundering their ill-gotten proceeds.” — U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito