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Feds boast largest healthcare fraud takedown ever at $2B in false claims

Feds boast largest healthcare fraud takedown ever at $2B in false claims

The U.S. Justice Department has charged 601 people - including doctors and nurses - for their alleged roles in health care fraud and opioid-related crimes that resulted in an estimated $2 billion in losses, according to a news release Thursday.

The defendants, located across 58 federal districts, include 165 physicians, nurses and other licensed medical professionals.

The alleged schemes involved medically unnecessary prescription narcotics that often were not distributed to patients, according to the Justice Department.

Dr. Hal Abrahamson, a licensed podiatrist, was charged with one count of health care fraud for allegedly submitting claims to Medicare and private insurance companies for procedures he did not perform, including skin grafts and wound packing. In 2016, 116 people died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses, and over eleven million people misused prescription opioids.

Thomas Carpenter, who was medical director at Foundational Health, a Tampa area clinic, and Caridad Limberg-Gonzalez, who owned the clinic, are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, four counts of health care fraud and three counts of making false statements. These are despicable crimes. In addition, the operation includes the participation of the DEA, DCIS, IRS-CI, Department of Labor, other various federal law enforcement agencies, and State Medicaid Fraud Control Units. That's why this Department of Justice has taken historic new steps to go after fraudsters, including hiring more prosecutors and leveraging the power of data analytics. The takedown involves more than 600 defendants - from doctors and pharmacists, down to billing clerks.

Tesla to close a dozen solar offices in nine states
Musk also said the new factory in a tent is preferable to the regular factory because it has a great view of the mountains. The lawsuit alleged Tesla's board of directors breached its duties to shareholders by approving the merger.

Since last July, HHS has barred 2,700 people from participating in federal healthcare programs, including 587 providers charged with opioid diversion and abuse.

Among dozens of new cases in South Florida, Greenberg zeroed in on Good Decisions Sober Living in West Palm Beach, whose operators recruited patients and paid kickbacks in order to bill $106 million for widespread fraudulent urine testing that was not medically necessary between 2011 and 2015, according to an indictment.

Of that staggering total, about 125 defendants were charged in South Florida with filing almost $340 million in fraudulent claims for opioid addiction treatment, home healthcare and prescription drugs covered by taxpayer-funded programs and other insurance plans.

Those charged were accused of cheating federal health programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, through false billing practices.

They were charged with health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks, conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service, and subscribing to a false and fraudulent tax return.

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