Federal authorities recently announced that roughly 300 people in more than half the states have been charged in the largest crackdown to date on health care fraud. Those arrested accounted for more than $900 million in false billings to Medicare and Medicaid. Among those arrested were 60 licensed medical professionals, including 30 doctors. The billings were for treatments or services deemed medically unnecessary — or for services that were never provided at all, including home care, medical equipment, and phony prescriptions.
Offenses Charged in Health Care Fraud Schemes
Individuals in these cases are typically charged with various health care fraud-related crimes. These include conspiracy to commit health care fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. The charges are based on a variety of alleged fraud schemes involving various medical treatments and services, including home health care, psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy, durable medical equipment (DME) and prescription drugs. In this specific case, more than 60 of the defendants arrested were charged with fraud related to the Medicare prescription drug benefit program known as Part D, the fastest-growing component of the Medicare program overall.
Typical Schemes Allegedly Used
Defendants in these cases are typically alleged to have participated in schemes to submit claims to Medicare and Medicaid for treatments that were medically unnecessary and often never provided. In many cases, patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries and other co-conspirators are allegedly paid cash kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers. The providers will then, in turn, allegedly submit fraudulent bills to Medicare for services that are considered medically unnecessary or never performed.
The Gov’t Has a Medicare Fraud Strike Force, Who Do You Have To Fight Against Them?
The Government has a Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in nine locations and since its inception in March 2007 has charged over 2,900 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $8.9 billion.
Brent Mayr is a Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Who is Experienced in Federal Criminal Defense
Health care fraud cases are among the most complex criminal cases to defend against and require an attorney with the requisite skills, knowledge, and experience in handling those types of cases. Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Brent Mayr is a former prosecutor and experienced Texas criminal defense attorney with a number of acquittals, including in federal court, under his belt. He is a member of the CJA Panel for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, a select group of the criminal defense attorneys in the district who federal judges turn to in times to assist represent individuals where conflicts of interest arise. He can assist individuals like those charged today facing federal criminal charges alleging all forms of health care fraud. When it comes to being investigated for a criminal offense or facing criminal charges, obtaining strong, competent, and experienced representation can’t wait. Contact Board Certified Attorney, Brent Mayr, by calling (713) 808-9613 or contact us online.