South Florida is home to the nations highest concentration of crooks who rip off the government with fraudulent claims for durable medical equipment and supplies, and the government has responded with aggressive and successful efforts to root them out and prosecute them.
For example, the feds yanked Medicare billing privileges from 491 suppliers in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties after a round of unannounced visits revealed the purported businesses had no actual place of business or, if they did, didnt appear to be open for business.
Job well done and then undone.
About half of the bounced companies soon got themselves back on the Medicare money train by presenting flimsy evidence such as photos and utility bills, HHS inspector generals office concluded from data collected after the visits by National Supplier Clearinghouse, a CMS contractor.
How did the auditors know the hearings officers may have goofed? Half the businesses later got the boot again. And worse, the U.S. attorney in Miami indicted 18 people connected to the reinstated companies, and 10 of them were convicted and sent to jail. One of those defendants was Benjamin Metsch, a lawyer who represented 15 of the businesses in their appeals; he pleaded guilty in March 2007 to conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud for a scheme that involved arranging straw purchasers for sales of DME companies.