Sunday, February 20, 2011

Medical News: Operation Targets $225M in Healthcare Fraud - in Public Health & Policy, Medicare from MedPage Today

By Joyce Frieden, News Editor, MedPage Today
Published: February 18, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The largest healthcare fraud operation in U.S. history has nabbed suspects accused of collectively defrauding Medicare of more than $225 million, according to officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged 111 defendants in nine cities for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes, officials announced on Thursday. Defendants included doctors, nurses, and healthcare company owners and executives, among others.

"With this takedown, we have identified and shut down large-scale fraud schemes operating throughout the country. We have safeguarded precious taxpayer dollars. And we have helped to protect our nation's most essential healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid," said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement. "As [these] arrests prove, we are waging an aggressive fight against healthcare fraud."

More than 700 law enforcement agents from the FBI, the HHS Office of Inspector General, multiple Medicaid Fraud Control Units, and other state and local law enforcement agencies participated in the operation.

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