Telemedicine exec among 36 charged in $1.2B cancer, cardio lab fraud

Thirty-six people are being charged for alleged medical fraud totaling more than $1.2 billion, the Justice Department said July 20.

Charges were brought against clinical lab owners and executives, medical professionals, medical equipment companies, marketing organizations and a telemedicine company executive, the department said. 

The charges include alleged bribes and kickbacks paid by lab owners and operators in exchange for referrals, the department said. The medical professionals allegedly providing the referrals worked with fraudulent telemedicine and digital medical technology companies.

Cardiovascular genetic testing fraud, which is becoming more common, is among the alleged telemedicine fraud that accounts for more than $1 billion of the total, the department said. Clinicians allegedly gave referrals for expensive and unnecessary medical equipment and cardiovascular and cancer genetic tests. The tests and equipment were billed to Medicare, but the results of the tests were not used to treat patients. 

One defendant purchased luxury items including real estate, a yacht, a Tesla and other luxury vehicles with proceeds from the alleged fraud, the department said.

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