Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

United States charges 601 people in major health care fraud takedown

United States charges 601 people in major health care fraud takedown

The indictment involves 601 charged defendants across 58 federal districts for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving more than $2 billion in false billings, as announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services.

The alleged schemes involved medically unnecessary prescription narcotics that often were not distributed to patients, according to the Justice Department.

Several doctors who live on Long Island have been charged with healthcare fraud as part of a national crackdown on allegedly improper billings for procedures that were either not medically necessary or not done at all.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 115 Americans die each day from opioid-related overdoses.

While the Justice Department has been conducting investigations into some opioid manufacturers like OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, the cases stemming from the sweep did not focus on wrongdoing by major corporations.

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Many of them were accused of unlawful prescribing and distributing addictive opioid painkillers.

Special Agent in Charge Shimon Richmond said that the South Florida community is a key component to preventing these cases.

Doctors, pharmacists and an attorney are among dozens of defendants charged in Southland health care fraud schemes that collectively attempted to bilk public and private insurance programs out of more than $660 million, federal authorities in Los Angeles announced Thursday. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

In 2017 460,000 patients covered by Medicare, received a large number of opioids.

Among the accused are 76 doctors, 23 pharmacists and 19 nurses.

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The case is considered the largest fraud in healthcare in USA history.

The defendants allegedly recruited patients, paid kickbacks, and defrauded health care benefit programs for widespread fraudulent urine testing. The charges also involved unnecessary prescription drugs and compounded medications. They were all participants in fraud schemes, which resulted in the Department of health lost more than $ 2 billion.

United States v. James Moorehead: James Moorehead, a registered nurse, was charged with three counts of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, or subterfuge, and seven counts of false statements relating to health care matters.

Abrahamson, a licensed podiatrist, was charged with one count of health care fraud. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in 10 locations nationwide. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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