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Medicare fraud suspects rounded up in miami

Posted on June 22, 2015 6:00 PM EST

Agents from the FBI and Health and Human Services made arrests from Miami to Alaska last week as agents fanned out across the country, arresting doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals suspected of committing Medicare Fraud, CBS Miami reports.

Of those arrested, 73 were in South Florida. Those suspects reportedly tried to scam the Medicare and Medicaid programs out of more than $262 million.

The South Florida arrests are a part of a nationwide crackdown by a Medicare Fraud Strike Force that targeted 17 cities, which yielded 243 arrests, including dozens of doctors, nurses, and other licensed healthcare professionals for participating in alleged Medicare fraud schemes, which involved approximately $712 worth of false billings.

According to CBS Miami, various schemes were used to try and defraud Medicare through Part D of the prescription drug program, which costs billions of dollars each year. In recent years, numerous pharmacies submitted false prescriptions for several drugs, including anti-depressants and anti-inflammatory drugs.

In addition to prescription drug fraud schemes, other scams in South Florida include billing Medicare for equipment or treatments that were either unnecessary or never delivered, some of which include: HIV infusion therapy, mental health sessions, and home healthcare for diabetic patients.

Some of the pharmacy owners went so far as to pay kickbacks to patients and patient recruiters in an effort to maintain their Medicare funding.

Since being established, the Department of Justice and Health and Human Services' Medicare Strike Force operations has charged more than 2,000 defendants who together, have falsely billed the Medicare program by over $7 billion.

Another tool in the government's arsenal against healthcare fraud is the federal False Claims Act. In the last six years alone, the Justice Department has recovered over $15 billion from healthcare fraud schemes.

Contact a Miami federal crimes attorney from Donet, McMillan & Trontz, P.A. if you are facing healthcare or prescription fraud charges!