Eight people in the Los Angeles area have been charged for their roles in allegedly attempting to defraud Medicare of $66 million, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Nationwide, a total of 243 people, including 46 doctors, nurses and medical professionals, face charges for conspiring to submit $712 million in false billings to Medicare.
The DOJ alleges that one Los Angeles doctor’s fraudulent billings resulted in nearly $23 million in losses to Medicare, including referrals for more than 1,000 power wheelchairs and home health services that were not medically necessary and often not provided to patients.
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The sweep, conducted by the DOJ and Health and Human Services, is the largest health care fraud takedown to date, both in terms of defendants charged and money lost, according to the agencies.
"This record-setting takedown sends a message to would-be perpetrators that health care fraud is a risky way to line your pocket," HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson, said in a written statement.
"Our agents and our law enforcement partners stand ready to protect these vital programs and ensure that those who would steal from federal health care programs ultimately pay for their crimes."