LOS ANGELES, CA - In the largest crackdown on U.S. healthcare fraud ever, the feds busted 300 people, in more than 25 states, for charging over $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 that were medically unnecessary -- or for services that were never provided at all, including home care, medical equipment, and phony prescriptions.
In one $86 million scam in Brooklyn, five people were arrested for paying kickbacks to patients who then received unnecessary physical and occupational therapy.
But it's more diabolical than stealing and hiding millions in government reimbursements. Some suspects allegedly targeted sick patients who were in need of serious medical care and didn't provide them with the treatments.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said "they abuse basic bonds of trust -- between doctor and patient; between pharmacist and doctor; and between taxpayer and government."
This take down makes it clear that healthcare fraud is a serious crime. The government programs are meant to help the elderly and the poor. The system should work for them. And them alone.