Of that staggering total, about 125 defendants were charged in South Florida with filing almost $340 million in fraudulent claims for opioid addiction treatment, home healthcare and prescription drugs covered by taxpayer-funded programs and other insurance plans.
More than 600 medical professionals across the United States now face charges in connection with the "largest (ever) health care fraud crackdown", the USA attorney's office said Thursday.
Among the accused are 76 doctors, 23 pharmacists and 19 nurses.
A Detroit-area doctor who wrote prescriptions for more than 2 million painkiller pills has been charged with health care fraud.
Without alleging criminal activity by patients, the report also identified almost a half-million Medicare beneficiaries said to be receiving regular opioid dosages since 2016 that exceed prescribing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The charges centred in part on schemes to bill the government healthcare programs Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare as well as private insurers for medically unnecessary prescription drugs and compounded medications. These are despicable crimes.
In yet another case, seven people were named in an indictment alleging multiple health care fraud conspiracies in which the owner of two pharmacies submitted claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal for expensive, brand-name prescription drugs that were never dispensed to patients. That's why this Department of Justice has taken historic new steps to go after fraudsters, including hiring more prosecutors and leveraging the power of data analytics.
Dr. Kim allegedly took part in a scheme to submit claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that were not medically necessary, not provided, or otherwise did not qualify for reimbursement.
"It is not that we are over-regulating, but doctors and medical practitioners are more aware", he said. About $858,000 was paid out in fraudulent proceeds as a result, he said. Crosby is accused of paying an alleged co-conspirator to recruit patients by promising them cash or other inducements, and Crosby allegedly billed for services not rendered, they said. The charges were filed in federal court in Brooklyn and Central Islip.
Dr. Daniel Capen, 68, of Manhattan Beach, an orthopedic surgeon who agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and illegal kickback charges of $142 million.
Charges against Dr. Chandra Reddy, a physician, and his wife, Vinodini, include conspiracy to commit health care fraud, federal authorities said.
The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, HHS-OIG, DCIS and IRS-CI, investigated the Global cases, which Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chinelo Dike-Minor, Don Long and Nicole Grosnoff are prosecuting.