Medicare Fraud Task Force Makes Biggest Bust Ever
107 charged in scheme, whose fake claims allegedly totaled $452M
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 3, 2012 7:23 AM CDT
Office of Inspecter General federal agents load computers seized from Willsand Home Health Agency, Inc. into a van in Miami, May 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(Newser) – The Justice Department's special Medicare fraud strike team made its biggest bust ever yesterday, charging 107 doctors, nurses, and other alleged fraudsters in a "nationwide takedown" affecting seven cities. All told, they're accused of bilking the government out of $452 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. Among the scams: billing Medicare for never-purchased power wheelchairs, never-held therapy sessions, and unnecessary feeding tubes. Health and Human Services also suspended or otherwise penalized 52 medical providers where it found "credible allegations of fraud."

The lion's share of the fraud was allegedly committed by seven people at two Baton Rouge community health centers, who billed Medicare $225.6 million for services the government alleges were unnecessary and often never actually performed, Reuters reports. Kathleen Sebelius hailed the arrests as "another example of how the Affordable Care Act is helping the Obama administration fight fraud," arguing that the controversial law had provided the resources to make the busts. This is the fourth big bust by the fraud team in two years.

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May 4, 2012 1:23 AM CDT
When I read the title of the article my immediate reaction was, Gov. Scott of Florida is finally off the hook for being the worst Medicare fraud ever whereas he had to pay $1.7 billion in fines. Then you read the story and all these people collectively, at least as far as the investigation has found, fraud totals 1/3 Scott's fine. Talk about exaggeration. But I'm really glad they are catching a lot more of these folks. Thank you Obama for making Medicare fraud a priority as reducing cost of the program. Now if they can just get theft under control in the military. Well, Clinton routed out how abused the Pentagon credit cards were.
May 3, 2012 1:15 PM CDT
I hope they are checking out Florida. I hate quitting doctors because the new one wants to put you through the whole gamut of tests all over again. I quit one doctor because that notice the insurance company sends after each appointment said they paid for my Pap test. What Pap test?? And check out hospital bills, too. A few questions recently whittled down my $119 share of an emergency room call to $26.something.
May 3, 2012 9:49 AM CDT
Damn Obama and his health care reform!!!!!!!!