The federal government indicted 91 people on Wednesday for Medicare fraud worth an estimated $295 million. Most were doctors and nurses in Miami, where Medicare fraud has been a special problem.
The Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint effort of the Health and Human Services and Justice departments, has been working hard to make high-profile arrests, as preventing Medicare fraud is an area the Obama administration has tried to highlight as a benefit of the 2010 health-reform law.
“Today’s arrests are a powerful warning to those who would try to defraud taxpayers,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “And our efforts to stop criminals don’t end here, because the Affordable Care Act gives us new tools to prevent Medicare fraud before it is committed.”
The majority of charges were in Miami, totaling a potential $159 million in false billings for home health care, mental-health services, occupational and physical therapy, and large pieces of medical equipment. Additional charges were filed in Houston; Baton Rouge, La.; Los Angeles; Detroit; and other cities.