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Miami doctors under investigation by federal government

Posted on December 30, 2009 3:00 AM EST

The federal government is yet again on the crusade to put an end to Miami Medicare fraud. Medicare has ceased paying a Miami doctor who purportedly wrote 97,000 prescriptions to Medicaid patients over a year and half time period. A United States Congressman informed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that Dr. Fernando Mendez-Villamil wrote approximately 153 prescriptions a day for over eighteen months. That figure is more than double any other doctor practicing medicine in the State of Florida. This latest report should make it apparent to Miami doctors and health care providers that others outside Medicare and law enforcement are keenly aware of the levels of fraud being committed in the community.

Congress, with the impending healthcare reform bill, has now involved themselves in criminal investigations. Officials at HHS claimed that they were aware of many healthcare providers that have been allegedly over prescribing medications and that they have been working closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to put a stop to it. However, it took a senator from the finance committee to intercede and instruct Medicare to stop paying the bills. Anyone, from doctors to clinic owners being investigated for Medicare care fraud, should immediately contact a Miami Medicare fraud criminal lawyer before speaking to any investigating agency.

HHS says the majority of top prescribers practice medicine in Miami where $3 billion in Medicare fraud is committed on a yearly basis. On the defensive is the vice-president of the Florida Counsel for Community Mental Health who stated that patients in Miami tend to use more medication than other patients around State of Florida and that it may be an anomaly in the data. A spokesman for the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) said the prescriptions written by the doctor were high, but there is no indication of Medicare fraud. Generally, if an indication of fraud exists, the case will be sent to the AHCA for further investigation. If fraud is suspected, the case will be sent to the Florida Attorney General. The attorney general received approximately 123 referrals last year.

Dr. Mendez-Villamil commonly prescribed Zyprexa, Seroguel, and Abilify. Seroguel is highly sought after because it acts like cocaine when snorted. The drug is also not available in South America, so families try to obtain and send it south to their relatives. The most important thing to glean from this latest investigation is that all levels of government are aware or perceive Miami as the hub of Medicare fraud and that they will spare no expense to quash the problem. All healthcare providers in Miami should be aware that even if there is no wrongdoing, they are under the microscope and could be wrongly investigated and charged..

The federal government is yet again on the crusade to put an end to Miami Medicare fraud. Medicare has ceased paying a Miami doctor who purportedly wrote 97,000 prescriptions to Medicaid patients over a year and half time period. A United States Congressman informed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)that Dr. Fernando Mendez-Villamil wrote approximately 153 prescriptions a day over an eighteen months. That figure is more than double any other doctor practicing medicine in the State of Florida. This latest report should make it apparent to Miami doctors and health care providers that others outside Medicare and law enforcement are keenly aware of the levels of fraud being committed in the community.

Feds Investigating High Prescribing Florida Doctors, Florida AP, December 17, 2009.
Categories: Fraud