Feds charge 138, including doctors, with $1.4 billion in health-care fraud involving telemedicine, Covid, opioids

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The Division of Justice on Friday introduced prison prices in opposition to 42 medical professionals and almost 100 different folks for alleged health-care fraud that concerned about $1.4 billion in suspected losses.

The circumstances charged embody ones that concerned the usage of telemedicine companies as a part of the fraud, which alone accounted for roughly $1.1 billion in alleged losses from false and fraudulent claims. Telemedicine employs communications expertise to judge and deal with sufferers remotely.

The opposite charged schemes concerned fraud that exploited the Covid-19 pandemic, or concerned substance abuse therapy services often called “sober properties,” and opioid distribution networks.

“We’re stopping corrupt medical professionals of their tracks,” Assistant Legal professional Common Kenneth Well mannered Jr. of the Justice Division’s Legal Division informed reporters throughout a briefing concerning the case.

The 138 folks charged within the circumstances embody 23 physicians, the DOJ mentioned. The circumstances are being prosecuted by 31 U.S. Attorneys’ workplaces across the nation.

Well mannered famous that opioid-related overdoses killed a “file variety of Individuals, almost 70,000,” final 12 months, and that drug overdose deaths general elevated by greater than 30%, with 90,000 folks useless because of this in 2020.

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Nineteen folks had been charged in opioid-related fraud circumstances by the DOJ, 16 of whom had been medical doctors or different medical professionals.

“Holding to account these liable for well being care fraud and diversion of prescribed drugs is a precedence for DEA,” mentioned DEA Administrator Anne Milgram in a press release.

“These fraudulent actions prey on our most weak – these in ache, the substance-addicted, and even the homeless – those that are most vulnerable to guarantees of reduction, restoration, or a brand new begin,” Milgram mentioned.

” Not solely do these schemes revenue from desperation, however they typically depart their victims even deeper in dependancy.”

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