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Feds Raid Health Care Facilities, Arrest Over 100 Professionals in 9 Cities in Record Medicare Bust

Posted Feb 17, 2011 1:49 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Federal authorities have arrested 111 doctors, nurses and other professionals in nine cities in what is being billed as the biggest Medicare fraud bust ever.

It allegedly involved fraudulent billing of the government for health care services that weren't provided, according to ABC News and the Associated Press.

The raids by some 700 federal agents reportedly occurred in Chicago; Detroit; Los Angeles; Miami and Tampa, Fla.; Baton Rouge, La.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Dallas and Houston. An FBI press release provides additional details.

Some of the defendants are doctors, notes the Wall Street Journal, including a physician profiled in earlier WSJ coverage who reportedly billed Medicare nearly $12 million in a little over five years between 2005 and 2010.

The newspaper's publisher has been seeking a court order permitting access to individual doctors' billing records, the article says. Under a 1979 ruling won by the American Medical Association, the amount paid by Medicare to any given physician is considered private information.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the latest federal raid involves some $225 million in alleged Medicare fraud. The program's overall budget is $500 billion.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Times article today details a federal sweep in which 74 suspects were arrested in raids by over 1,000 federal agents and indicted as part of a broader alleged theft scheme by a claimed Armenian gang.

The newspaper says 52 members of a claimed Armenian crime group were arrested as part of an October enforcement sweep concerning alleged Medicare fraud.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com (July 2010): "94 Indicted, 36 Arrested This Morning in Record 5-State, $251M Medicare Fraud Bust"

ABAJournal.com (Oct. 2010): "Dozens Arrested in $100M Medicare Case Bust; Doctor & Patient IDs Allegedly Stolen"

Detroit News: "Metro Detroit Medicare providers charged in fraud case"

Houston Chronicle: "6 workers accused in health-care fraud case"

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