Tom Hays, Associated Press,
Submitted by: Editor
36 Arrested In Medicare Scams Totaling $251 Million
More than 360 agents participated in Friday's raids, announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a health care fraud prevention summit in Miami. Officials said they chose Miami because it is ground zero for Medicare fraud. Authorities indicted 33 suspects in the Miami area, accused of charging Medicare for about $140 million in various scams.
"With today's arrests we're putting would-be criminals on notice: health care fraud is no longer a safe bet," Holder said Friday.
Cleaning up an estimated $60 billion to $90 billion a year in Medicare fraud will be key to paying for President Barack Obama's proposed health care overhaul. Federal officials have promised more money and manpower to fight fraud, setting up strike forces in several cities.
Around the country, the schemes have morphed from the typical medical equipment scam in which clinic owners billed Medicare dozens of times for the same wheelchair, while never giving the medical equipment to patients. Now, officials say, the schemes involve a sophisticated network of doctors, clinic owners, patients and patient recruiters.
How many of you want to hear doctors bitch about their paltry incomes? They've been stealing from you all along.