Medicare Fraud Strike Force Makes 53 Arrests

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media , June 24, 2009

According to the indictments, the defendants were charged with submitting claims to Medicare for treatments that were considered medically unnecessary--and many times never provided. The indictments allege that beneficiaries also accepted cash kickbacks in return for allowing providers to submit forms saying they had received the unnecessary--and not provided--treatments. Those indicted included physicians, medical assistants, patients, company owners, and executives.

"As demonstrated by today's charges and arrests, we will strike back against those whose fraudulent schemes not only undermine a program upon which 45 million aged and disabled Americans depend, but which also contribute directly to rising health care costs," said Holder in a statement.

Most physicians, patients, and medical companies "do the right thing and work with the Medicare program to provide access to medical services," he said. "To those who work diligently and ethically to provide medical care through the Medicare program, we will work with you to root out the few who corrupt the system and taint the good reputations of health professionals everywhere."

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at

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