Medicare fraud investigation nets more than 100 providers

February 23, 2011

The feds are getting serious about cracking down on Medicare fraud. A February 17 nationwide bust netted 111 physicians, nurses, and therapists, the largest such roundup in Medicare history.

MIAMI – The feds are getting serious about cracking down on Medicare fraud. A February 17 nationwide bust netted 111 physicians, nurses, and therapists, the largest such roundup in Medicare history.

The providers are charged with everything from altering patients’ diagnoses and medications to make it look like they qualified for additional treatment to billing for procedures that were never performed.

More than 700 law enforcement agents arrested suspects in Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, New York, Tampa, and Baton Rouge. The suspects are accused of illegally billing Medicare more than $225 million.

The FBI agent in charge of the case said that law enforcement will never stop Medicare fraud until the system institutes reforms such as screening and fingerprinting providers, and using unique numbers for patients instead of Social Security numbers. Officials estimate that the program is cheated out of $60 billion to $90 billion each year.