17 medical professionals charged in $258M billing fraud bust

Thirty-four people, including 17 physicians and other licensed medical professionals, have been charged for their alleged roles in Medicare and Medicaid fraud schemes in three states, the Department of Justice announced Sept. 18.

The bulk of the false billings — $257 million — resulted from various fraud schemes in California. Twenty-six people were charged for their alleged involvement in those schemes. In Arizona and Oregon, eight people were charged with defrauding Medicaid of $1 million.

Those charged in the schemes allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for healthcare services, medical testing and prescriptions that were not actually provided or were not medically necessary, according to the Justice Department.

"Today's action shows that our ability to detect and prosecute healthcare fraud grows more sophisticated with each passing day," Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, said in a press release. "The Department of Justice is using every tool at our disposal to target the medical professionals and others who place their personal greed above the public good."

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