$260m US medicare fraud, 90 people arrested

2014-05-14 10:22
(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Miami - Ninety people, including doctors, pharmacy owners and elderly patients, were arrested this week in six cities and charged with submitting fake billings to Medicare worth nearly $260 million, federal officials said on Tuesday.

"They each tried to use the Medicare programme as their own personal ATM machine and to line their pockets with our money," US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer told reporters.

Since 2007, when federal agencies stepped up efforts to crack down on Medicare fraud, authorities have arrested and charged more than 1 900 people who collectively have falsely billed more than $6bn to the government health programme for the elderly and disabled.

A majority of the recent arrests were made in south Florida, which has emerged as a hotbed of Medicare fraud.

'Excessive claims'

Among those arrested this week was an 85-year-old man on Medicare who allegedly received kickbacks in exchange for ordering home healthcare services.

Eduardo Perez de Morales, aged 26, was charged with laundering the proceeds of healthcare schemes through a remittance company that sent money to Cuba.

Arrests were also made in Detroit, New York City, Los Angeles, Houston and Tampa.

The schemes used to bleed millions from Medicare ranged from recruiters paying elderly individuals to file excessive claims to home healthcare agencies seeking payment for services never performed and medical supply companies billing for equipment that was never ordered, officials said.

Yet the greatest concern was raised over fraud in Medicare Part D, which provides drug benefits for elderly and disabled people through private insurers.

"We find ourselves to constantly be engaged in a game of whack-a-mole," Ferrer said. "These small pharmacies, which some people can actually describe as holes-in-the-wall are actually billing a lot more to Part D than major national chains."

Read more on:    us  |  us healthcare
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.