- This was the largest Medicare bust ever.
- In total, 243 people were arrested in 17 cities for Medicare billing of $712 million worth of patient care that was either unnecessary or never given.
- In one case, owners of a mental health facility in Miami billed tens of millions of dollars for psychotherapy sessions based on treatment that was little more than moving patients to different locations.
- Four other people are charged for mass-marketing a talking glucose monitor, shipping the monitors to Medicare patients across the country who didn't need or order them, and then billing Medicare for the devices to the tune of more than $22 million.
- Health care providers got in on the scam by paying kickbacks to fraudsters who got their hands on Medicare patients' personal information which they would then use to bill Medicare for care never given.
- These fraudsters often got the patient information by preying on the down and out in society by canvassing places like homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
- A Los Angeles doctor allegedly billed $23 million for 1,000 power wheelchairs and home health services that were not medically necessary and often not provided.
- In a Florida case, a health care provider received $1.6 million from Medicare for prescription drugs that were never purchased and never given.
- "In these cases, we followed the money and found criminals who were attracted to doctors offices, clinics, hospitals and nursing homes in search of what they viewed as an ATM," said FBI Director James B. Comey.
- The DOJ's Medicare Fraud Strike Force team led the investigations which since 2007 it has charged 2,300 people who have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $7 billion.
- In recent years, the Strike Force team has expanded from two cities to nine.
- These people were arrested for ripping off $712 million. However, there is no mention of how much of that $712 million will actually be recovered, much of it is likely to already have been spent and is gone forever.
- We have previously reported many times that credible, nonpartisan analyses and sources estimate that Medicare loses anywhere from $40 to $60 billion a year to waste and criminal activity. Thus, if we assume that the $712 million was all ripped off in one year, unlikely, than the recovery rate from the “biggest bust in Medicare history” is a measly 1.8% on $40 billion or 1.2% on $60 billion.
- Since the $712 million was probably obtained over a period of years, then the recovery rate is highly likely to be well below 1%. And this is the biggest bust in history, meaning other busts likely got far less.
- The strike force has been in operation for nine years, 2007 to 2015 and has busted criminals who had illegally collected $7 billion in Medicare funds. If we assume the lower end of annual Medicare ripoffs and waste is $40 billion, nine years worth of such behavior is about $360 billion. That means the task force has recovered a staggering...only 1.9% of the criminal activity and waste.
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