The “largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history” took place today, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, prosecutors announced that 400 individuals were charged in $1.3 billion in false billing, opioid scams, and health insurance fraud.
With America facing a massive opioid epidemic, it is alarming that over 120 medical professionals were found prescribing narcotics unnecessarily. In fact, 6 doctors in Michigan conducted a scheme where they prescribed unnecessary opioids, only worsening the epidemic. A company that makes medicines for pain management allegedly failed to inform the Drug Enforcement and Administration when pain clinics and pharmacies were clearly ordering excess drugs. They agreed to pay a $35 million fine for such behavior. A rehabilitation facility located in Florida was charged with fraudulently filing $58 million claims to major health insurance company. The investigation revealed that addicts were being bribed to come to the rehabilitation facilities with gift cards and more, even though the patients were receiving minimal treatment, if any. In addition, Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare (which serves military members and their families) were illegally billed for unnecessary drugs that patients never even received or purchased.
These investigations come at the same time that the government is fighting to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and is expected to reveal a new plan soon. Many of the arrests expected to take place will be in southern Florida, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and other locations with high numbers of residential drug addiction treatment facilities.
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