A nationwide Medicare Fraud Strike Force takedown occurred this past Monday, resulting in charges against 90 defendants in six cities across the US. The alleged fraud is estimated to have totaled more than $260 million in false claims. This takedown was more narrow, geographically, than others – over half of the individuals charged were operating out of the Miami area.
While past takedowns have primarily targeted physicians, 37 of the individuals charged in this instance were patient recruiters who were allegedly paid cash kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers, so that the providers could then submit fraudulent bills to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary or never performed.
The seven Medicare fraud takedowns executed by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force since its inception have led to the charges against almost 1,900 individuals for schemes totaling close to $6 billion in fraudulent billings. In addition, CMS has suspended enrollments for high risk providers in five strike force locations, and has excluded over 17,000 providers from the Medicare program since 2011.
The full FBI press release is available here.