LI doctors charged in healthcare fraud crackdown

LI doctors charged in healthcare fraud crackdown

LI doctors charged in healthcare fraud crackdown

The U.S. Justice Department has charged 601 people - including doctors and nurses - for their alleged roles in health care fraud and opioid-related crimes that resulted in an estimated $2 billion in losses, according to a news release Thursday.

"We've charged another 162 people, including 32 doctors, with illegal distribution of opioids - just opioids - so, this is the most doctors and the most medical personnel, unfortunately, and the most fraud that the Department of Justice has ever taken on in any single enforcement action", said the attorney general. And the Justice Department says that while most medical professionals are honorable, this group took advantage of the opioid crisis for their own benefit.

According to the CDC, 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the 2016 alone. These are despicable crimes.

Among the hundreds charged are 10 people from the Western District of Kentucky, including six from Jefferson County, accused of participating in health care fraud schemes. He thanked law enforcement agencies for their investigations.

Those claims were then submitted to organizations such as Medicaid and Medicare for services that were never provided.

"It is not that we are over-regulating, but doctors and medical practitioners are more aware", he said.

Among dozens of new cases in South Florida, Greenberg zeroed in on Good Decisions Sober Living in West Palm Beach, whose operators recruited patients and paid kickbacks in order to bill $106 million for widespread fraudulent urine testing that was not medically necessary between 2011 and 2015, according to an indictment. The charges stem from Moorehead using the identities of multiple hospital patients with prescriptions for pain medications containing hydrocodone to dispense and divert the pills to his own personal use, and falsely indicating in Medicare beneficiaries' medical records that those medications were administered to the patients.

Though numerous cases also involved a variety of schemes to fraudulently bill government healthcare programs, officials sought in the latest crackdown to emphasize their efforts to combat the nation's opioid epidemic.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, through separate informations filed in U.S. District Court, and all with associated plea agreements charged Global Operations Manager JEFFREY SOUTH, District Manager ANGIE NELSON, sales representatives RODDRICK BOYKIN and DAWN WHITTEN, and biller STACEY CARDOZO. They are accused of submitting false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare (a program that offers insurance coverage to US military members, veterans and their families), and private insurance companies.

"The number of medical professionals charged is particularly significant, because virtually every health care fraud scheme requires a corrupt medical professional to be involved in order for Medicare or Medicaid to pay the fraudulent claims", the DOJ said in a statement.

Some of the doctors were charged with prescribing and distributing opioids and other narcotics.

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