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Federal prosecutors charge more than two dozen with health care fraud

Michigan news outlets recently reported on the arrests of 26 suspects in an alleged scheme to defraud Medicaid, Medicare, employee health insurance plans and private payers. Defendants include 17 doctors and other medical professionals who allegedly tried to bilk Medicare and Medicaid out of $257 million.

Prosecutors say the health care fraud involved billing Medicare and Medicaid for services, tests and prescriptions that weren’t necessary or were not provided.

The allegations are spread across California – where 14 physicians and other medical professionals – were among the 26 people charged with a $257 million fraud, and Arizona and Oregon, where three medical pros were accused of defrauding state Medicaid programs of $1 million.

Several of the California doctors are in their 70s, according to filed court documents, including physicians who are 70, 75, 78, 79 and 74 years old.

Prosecutors say seven of the suspects work at a cardiac care facility in Inglewood, California, and are together responsible for $135 million fraudulently billed to Medicare for medically unneeded cardiac treatments and tests.

Another group of defendants is accused of participating in a $10 million scheme to defraud the state of $10 million with faked charges for family planning, tests and medications for nonexistent patients.

Three defendants are accused of participation in an kickback scheme to defraud Medicare.

Two Los Angeles defendants are also accused of taking part in a fraud and kickback scheme that allegedly paid commissions to patients and marketers to obtain unneeded compound medications that are reimbursed at dramatically higher rates than typical prescriptions.

Defendants face the possibility of years in federal prison if they are convicted of all charges. Rather than speak to prosecutors and investigators, those in similar predicaments in Michigan should contact an Ann Arbor law firm known for protecting clients’ rights and freedoms at every step of the process.

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