15 May 2012

Scammers in white coats

Business on old people: the biggest scam in the USA

Natalia Sineva, Medpulse, based on materials LATimes.com:
107 charged in Medicare fraud crackdownFederal officials in Washington call this a "national disgrace", while in Russia they are already used to such frauds: almost half a billion dollars were taken from the state program of free medical care for the elderly Medicare at a time.

This is the largest scam in the history of the program's existence – as part of the operation to catch fraudsters, 107 people were arrested in seven cities – Los Angeles, Miami, Tampa, Houston, Baton Rouge, Detroit and Chicago.

American doctors did not try to be wise and invent a bicycle, but used the same method used by construction companies lured by solid state customers: they did not do the work, but painted everything on paper as if they worked for two. That is, they added the cost of medical procedures to the expense conduits, which, of course, were not carried out by anyone, and invented emergency calls, which, accordingly, no one thought of going to.

The US Department of Justice states that there are more and more scammers in the medical field every year: pensioners and disabled people insured under the Medicare and Medicaid program, there are 50 million in the country – the field for the activities of scammers is more than extensive. Last year, 1,430 people were detained for fraud in the healthcare sector, and in 2008, for comparison, 797. About 60 thousand suppliers were weaned from the feeder, and the total damage amounted to more than $ 4 billion.

That is why the Obama administration has promised to toughen penalties for those who forge documents to pay for medical services. Officials of the Department of Health and Human Services have already taken over the activities of 52 medical institutions after analyzing their accounts and checking "credible reports" of fraud.

Over the past two years, this is the fourth scam in the Medicare system, however, none of the previous three was so large-scale. "Medicare is an attractive target for criminals," says California Attorney General Lenny Breyer, an assistant for criminal offenses, and it is dangerous for him to make statements that do not correspond to the truth. – If you don't believe me, ask Lawrence Duran, the former owner of a Miami mental health company, who received 50 years in prison last year. Or his two partners, each of whom is sentenced to 35 years in prison."

In Los Angeles, eight people have been brought to justice, including two doctors who have stolen $20 million. For example, Bolademi Adetola, the head of the medical equipment supplier Latay Medical Services, conscientiously billed for self-propelled wheelchairs that were quietly standing in their warehouse, and a local nursing home even hired recruits to search for old people who were in full – relatively, of course – health, so that doctors would write fake prescriptions for them, which were then also taken into account in the invoices issued. Doctors August Ohemeng and George Tarrick, who work at the Pacific Clinic in Long Beach, played a small game: they only billed the tubes through which patients were given food, although the patients themselves were completely unaware that they used these tubes.

Of the 107 arrested, 87 people were detained in one day. Federal agents are looking for the rest of the participants in the scam and expect that someone will want to surrender to the authorities voluntarily. Louis Saccoccio, executive director of the National Association for Combating Health Fraud, notes that the latest round of arrests was "encouraging" and that it fully reflects the government's increased efforts to combat fraudsters.

Saccoccio, by his own admission, is pleased that the Department of Health and Human Services has suspended payments to 52 providers of services and equipment thanks to new tools for data analysis and fraud detection. The system, created two years ago by decree of Barack Obama, is based on a computer program that detects fraudulent schemes. "This tool has great potential and can change the situation. In the future, you will see that this will have a real impact in the fight against fraud," concludes Saccoccio.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru15.05.2012

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