Government alleges $712M spent in Medicare false billing

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The Medicare Fraud Strike Force led the largest nationwide sweep in Strike Force history, charging more than 200 individuals for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

The coordinated takedown occurred in 17 districts and charged 243 individuals for allegedly conspiring to submit a total of approximately $712 million in fraudulent billing. Many of those charged were in home health, and 46 were doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services suspended providers using its suspension authority labeled in the Affordable Care Act.

Almost a sixth of those arrested were charged with fraud related to the Medicare prescription drug benefit program.

The announcement was made by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

“In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue our focus on preventing wrongdoing and prosecuting those whose criminal activity drives up medical costs and jeopardizes a system that our citizens trust with their lives,” Lynch said in the announcement.

A live stream of the announcement can be viewed here.