Federal officials have arrested 38 individuals in South Florida--a world capital of DME fraud--accusing them of defrauding the Medicare program of more than $142 million. Working with state and local authorities, the feds investigated the individuals for two months, relying in part on real-time computer data to track the progress of their activities. The officials concluded that the defendants paid Medicare enrollees to use the enrollees' card numbers. Prosecutors say that the accused used the card numbers to submit fraudulent claims for power wheelchairs, walkers and blood sugar test kits. HHS secretary Mike Leavitt has said that the government could potentially save as much as $2.5 billion per year by slashing Medicare fraud.
To find out more about the problem:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report item
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