DOJ charges dozens in telehealth fraud worth $1.1B

Health and Wellness Informatics News

More than 43 people who belong to 11 judicial districts have been accused of participating in various schemes related to telemedicine.

The US Department of Justice recently announced that it was bringing in criminal charges against 138 defendants. They have alleged connections in various healthcare and telehealth fraud schemes. It had resulted in $1.4 billion of the alleged loss. More than$1.1 billion of that loss stem from fraudulent claims related to telemedicine.

The Deputy Inspector general for Investigations, Gary L Cantrell of HHS-OIG, has said that they have seen too often criminals who engage in health care fraud collect money from taxpayers and jeopardize the health of Medicaid beneficiaries and Medicare.

The new announcement serves as a warning to individuals who may consider engaging in such kinds of activities. The HHS- OIG and its law enforcement partner remain unrelenting to their commitments. They will root out the fraud. They will hold the bad actors in account and protect millions of other beneficiaries.

More than 43 people from 11 Judicial districts created with more than $1.1 billion of total schemes. As per the court documents, some of the telemedicine executives have allegedly paid clinicians to order unnecessary medical equipment. Also, they have paid for pain medications.

The doctors and nurse practitioners did so without any patient interaction with a telephone conversation, said DOJ. Companies that have allegedly purchased the order for bribes. They have also submitted false claims to the government insurers.

On the other hand, medical professionals are accounting billing Medicare for sham consultations that did not take place. 

Other changes in the crackdown involve $29 million for false billing of COVID-1, $133million for false claims, $14millions for narcotic cases, and 4145 million for healthcare fraud.

Healthcare frauds target the vulnerable community in the healthcare system. The FBI and law enforcement partners are also working on safeguarding American taxpayers and businesses from costs and frauds.

The DOJ has bright charges for some of the high-profile telehealth cases. A laboratory owner earlier this month  busted for his role in a $73 million Medicare kickback scheme.

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