Medicare has been administered by the federal government to provide Americans aged 65 and older access to health insurance. Considering the cost of health care nowadays, this national social insurance program is a great help for most people. Unfortunately, the program is sometimes vulnerable to fraud, which is why any incident related to Medicare fraud is treated very seriously.
Recently, the federal government announced that 90 individuals in six states, including Louisiana, were linked to an alleged national Medicare fraud scheme. The federal authorities stated that 27 medical practitioners are facing criminal charges related to Medicare fraud.
The arrest was made as a result of the investigation of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint project initiated by Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice to combat fraud and make sure that anti-fraud laws are followed. The federal authorities suspected that the suspects are responsible for various crimes, such as money laundering and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. They said that the charges stemmed from different alleged fraud schemes incorporated with medical services and treatments with regards to psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy and mental health services.
Allegedly, the suspects participated in the fraud schemes by falsely submitting claims to Medicare for treatments and services that never occurred. In many cases, the court documents accused the defendants of paying recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries and other people of cash kickbacks for providing beneficiary information for the fraudulent claims. Health care fraud crimes are a serious offense, which is punishable by a lengthy prison sentence, excessive fines and other penalties. Even without conviction, the allegations can badly damage a person’s reputation.
However, the potential penalties of a health care fraud can be minimized. Facing the health care fraud charges with a criminal defense team may help the defendants protect their interests and civil rights under the given circumstances.
Source: Gov Info Security, “90 Charged in Medicare Fraud Schemes,” Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, May 13, 2014