How many of you on Medicare have received robocalls telling you that neck, knee or back braces were yours free, all you had to do was respond to the call?
Well thanks to the FBI, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, and other federal law enforcement agencies at least those calls, which came from international call centers, will stop.
I’m repeating myself, but the President really should be bringing attention to the numerous and successful fraud busts his administration is prosecuting.
And, as several of my reader have pointed out, imagine if the Democrats got their way and there was Medicare for all! Imagine the massive fraud that would follow!
The gist of the breaking news is here at NBC News. However to get the full flavor of the bust including the names of those charged in multiple states, see the FBI press release here.
Two dozen people, including doctors and owners of medical equipment companies, were charged in a more than $1 billion Medicare scam, authorities said Tuesday.
Investigators uncovered the sprawling plot that targeted elderly and disabled people by setting them up with back, neck and knee braces that they didn’t need, according to federal prosecutors.
Called Operation Brace Yourself, the investigation discovered that medical brace manufacturers were allegedly paying kickbacks and bribes to doctors working with fraudulent telemedicine companies in exchange for Medicare patient referrals for medically unnecessary braces.
The ill-gotten gains were then laundered through international shell companies and used to buy exotic cars, yachts and luxury real estate in the United States and overseas, prosecutors said.
“The taxpayers should be outraged by this,” Gary Cantrell, who oversees fraud investigations for the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office, said in an interview with NBC News. “These are losses to the Medicare program that we all, as taxpayers, fund.”
As part of the scheme, doctors were paid to prescribe braces to patients they had little to no relationship with. Prescriptions frequently came after doctors had brief conversations via phone or video conference with patients they had never met, prosecutors said.
The global fraud involved call centers in the Philippines and throughout Latin America.
As a result, the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries across the country was compromised and could be used in future schemes, prosecutors said.
It is really important that if you suspect Medicare or Medicaid fraud that you report your suspicions.
See my Medicare Fraud category for many more cases of fraud and for information on how to report fraud.