107 charged in Medicare fraud crackdown

Latimes.com: By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau May 2, 2012, 5:19 p.m.

The latest Medicare fraud crackdown involves bogus claims totaling $452 million, officials say. Arrests are made in seven cities, including Los Angeles.

WASHINGTON — Doctors, nurses and social workers from across the country, 107 in all, were charged in what federal officials in Washington called a “nationwide takedown” of medical professionals accused of fraudulently billingMedicare out of nearly half a billion dollars.

The amount of bogus Medicare claims, totaling about $452 million, was the highest in a single raid in the history of a federal strike force combating rising fraud in the medical industry, according to the Justice Department. Arrests were made in seven major cities.

The Obama administration said it was toughening its attack on those who filed bills for ambulance rides never taken and medical procedures never provided.

In addition, officials in the Health and Human Services Department suspended or took other administrative actions against 52 medical providers after analyzing billing requests and finding additional “credible allegations of fraud.”

In the Los Angeles area, eight people, including two doctors, were charged with fraudulently billing about $20 million for services never provided.

Federal agents take away computers from Willsand Home Health Agency Inc. in Miami. (Alan Diaz, Associated Press / May 2, 2012) Read More