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Miami medicare fraud suspected in diabetes care

Posted on December 08, 2009 3:00 AM EST

Federal authorities are yet again investigating new cases involving Miami Medicare fraud. A new investigation revealed that Medicare has paid out in excess of 500 million dollars for the care of homebound diabetes patients. Home healthcare agencies billed more than the rest of country combined for diabetic treatments. The federal government is getting better at identifying Medicare fraud cases. If you or someone you know is involved in providing home healthcare for diabetes patients, it may be wise to speak with a Miami criminal lawyer experienced in defending Miami Medicare fraud cases. Early representation can help avoid an arrest or at least to arrange a discussion with federal agents and prosecutors should it become necessary.

Investigators are looking into cases where patients were receiving twice a day diabetes treatments who did not require it and cases where people were receiving insulin injections who did not even have diabetes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services became suspicious when they discovered that Miami bills half of the $1 billion that Medicare paid out for the entire country in 2008. The other red flag that tipped off the federal government was that Miami's percentage of diabetes patients is lower in Miami than other areas of Florida larger elderly populations.

With the healthcare debate raging and the extra money the federal government is spending to investigate fraud, the number of arrests and criminal investigations involving Medicare fraud is likely to escalate. Anyone convicted in a Medicare fraud case is looking at significant prison time. The federal government through U.S. Attorney's Office in Southern District of Florida is trying to make examples of individuals who have allegedly committed Medicare fraud. Early representation by a Miami Medicare fraud defense lawyer can mean the difference between a short investigation and a 10 year prison sentence.

Medicare and federal law enforcement authorities believe that owners and managers of home healthcare companies have been paying doctors $100 for each fake diabetes referral. If that is the case, the doctors as well as the clinic owners can be indicted in federal court. Patients accepting bribes, such as, money, groceries and flat screen TVs in exchange for them allowing their Medicare numbers to be used for billing purposes will also be arrested and prosecuted. Another important fact to remember is that if you are contacted you are contacted by a Medicare fraud investigator, do not try to bribe them with money. Two people were arrested last week for offering $5,000 to cover up an investigation.

Fraud Suspected in Miami-Dade Diabetes Case, The Miami Herald, December 8, 2009.
Categories: Fraud