The Justice Department announced today that “Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in eight cities has resulted in charges against 91 defendants, including doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $295 million in false billing.” The alleged charges are reqally disgusting: a Detroit doctor allegedly billed Medicare for treating dead patients and for treatments lasting more than 24 hours in a day; a supervisor at a Miami community health center allegedly threatened residents of a boarding house that he managed with eviction unless they attended the center so he could overbill Medicare; and so on. As the press release from DOJ states, the defendants treated Medicare as “a personal piggy bank.” And the DOJ press office informed me that NONE of the 91 charged in this new effort was an attorney.
This is just the latest in a long string of indictments and arrests by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which has charged over 1,100 defendants for allegedly billing Medicare more than $2.9 billion in false claims in just two years. And the overwhelming number of defendants in the cases are medical professionals – doctors, nurses, medical device company officers, and so on. And the perpetrators of the BILLIONS in Medicare fraud are not trial lawyers, the men and women who ensure that Americans can exercise their rights guaranteed under the 7th Amendment to the Constitution.
When the new “SuperCommittee” charged with meeting the provisions of the debt limit agreement start looking for big health care dollars to save, they should focus on Medicare fraud foisted on the taxpayers by medical pros. That’s the REAL waste in the health care system.