Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said federal authorities are carrying out the largest healthcare fraud takedown ever, with 94 defendants charged in Baton Rouge, La.; Detroit; Houston; Miami; and New York. The announcement was delivered at a healthcare fraud summit in Miami on July 16, the first in a series of events to be held across the country to discuss ways to stem a persistent drain on the system, bringing together federal, state and local authorities, as well as patients, providers and consumer advocates. Also in conjunction with the Miami summit, HHS announced Florida has been granted a Medicaid waiver that will help fund a demonstration program in which the state's Medicaid fraud control unit will mine claims data for patterns that suggest scams. Federal rules currently prohibit Medicaid fraud control units from using federal matching funds in such efforts. As of midday July 16, agents arrested 36 alleged participants in schemes involving more than $250 million in fraudulent claims, the Justice Department said. The range of allegations fit the general profile of criminal healthcare fraud that has been rampant for years in South Florida and is spreading to other parts of the country, with beneficiaries getting cash kickbacks for their Medicare numbers and scammers submitting phony claims for HIV infusion services, home healthcare, physical therapy and durable medical equipment. The government plans to hold additional healthcare fraud summits in Detroit, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.
Late News: Feds move against nearly 100 health fraud suspects
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