Government agencies routinely collaborate in complex healthcare fraud sweeps that target multiple defendants.
A recent nationwide law enforcement action uncovered billions of dollars of healthcare fraud and the defendants included Floridians.
About healthcare fraud
Medicare is a leading federal healthcare program that has long been the target for fraudulent claims. This kind of fraud involves submitting false claims for services that were never provided or medical equipment and supplies that were never furnished to patients.
The recent action
In October 2020, law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., announced the results of a nationwide action that charged 345 defendants with healthcare fraud in 51 federal districts. Of those defendants, 19 were operating in the state of Florida. All were charged with submitting fraudulent healthcare claims that together amounted to more than $6 billion. The sweep orchestrated among federal, state and local partners included more than 100 physicians, nurses and other medical professionals. Two of the perpetrators operated a Tampa telemarketing company that focused on fraudulent billing for durable medical equipment, or DME, and for cancer genetic testing. They also bribed medical professionals to sign orders that were medically unnecessary for submission to Medicare. Each defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.
Anyone convicted of healthcare fraud is looking at heavy fines and possible prison time. Physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals risk losing their licenses. Frequently, those suspected of fraud become aware of an impending investigation. This is the time to prepare and begin building a defense strategy. A career and an entire future may be at stake.