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Medicare team arrests 111 in record-breaking health care fraud takedown Posted: February 21st, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

A multi-agency team of federal, state and local investigators has conducted the largest-ever Medicare fraud takedown. Known as the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, the team is the result of collaboration between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The fraud takedown resulted in charges being filed against 111 individuals, including doctors, nurses and health care company executives, for $225 million in fraudulent Medicare billing. Arrests were made in these nine cities:

  1. Miami
  2. Tampa, Fla.
  3. Detroit
  4. Baton Rouge, La.
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Dallas
  7. Houston
  8. Brooklyn, N.Y.
  9. Chicago

Those arrested are accused of submitting claims for Medicare services that were either medically unnecessary or never actually provided. In many cases, it is alleged that Medicare beneficiaries or other co-conspirators were provided cash kickbacks in exchange for beneficiary information that could be used to submit Medicare claims.

While the current arrests constitute the single largest Medicare fraud takedown by the federal government, it represents only a small portion of the total money recovered annually from fraud detection activities. Last year, the Medicare Fraud Strike Team recovered $4 billion in fraudulent payments.