Kirsters Baish| During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump spent a lot of time talking about “draining the swamp” in Washington. While it will take a lot longer than 8 years to clean up the cesspool of corrupt politicians in Washington, trump is doing a wonderful job of getting us going. A big part of cleaning up our country’s capital is figuring out where there is waste and abuse putting an end to it.
The Washington Examiner reports:
The Justice Department on Thursday announced its largest-ever healthcare fraud enforcement action, and charged 601 people, including 165 medical professions, for making false medical claims worth $2 billion, a quarter of which was related to opioids.
“This is the most fraud, the most defendants, and the most doctors ever charged in a single operation — and we have evidence that our ongoing work has stopped or prevented billions of dollars’ worth of fraud,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement about the Medicare Fraud Strike Force’s work over the past year.
The charges against the defendants stemmed from their having submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, as well as multiple private insurance agencies. Over twenty-five percent of the charges were for prescribing and/or distributing opioids as well as other narcotic drugs to patients. More than 13 million illegal doses of opioids were given out, as reported by the Department of Justice.
Attorney General Sessions explained yesterday, “Health care fraud is a betrayal of vulnerable patients, and often it is theft from the taxpayer. In many cases, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists take advantage of people suffering from drug addiction in order to line their pockets. These are despicable crimes.”
All of those who are being charged are said to have billed patients for treatments that were not necessary or were never even performed/provided. On top of that, financial kickbacks were granted to non medical personnel when they gave doctors and nurses information, allowing them to make the false claims. This includes patients recruiters, beneficiaries, as well as co-conspirators.
The Examiner reports, “The federal districts with the highest-dollar cases included the Southern District of Florida with $337 million, Central District of California with $660 million, and the Southern District of Texas with $291 million in alleged fraud.”
The Washington Post reports of the matter:
The Justice Department charged more than 600 people, including 165 doctors and other medical professionals, with making $2 billion in false billings in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday was the nation’s largest ever health care fraud takedown.
The cases are connected to the nation’s ongoing drug overdose crisis, which killed nearly 64,000 people in 2016, Sessions said. About two-thirds of the overdose deaths were caused by opioids, led by illicit fentanyl.
It’s truly disheartening how the opioid epidemic has spread in our country. Not only is this issue killing Americans, but it is draining our country’s funds. With the national debt as high as it already is, we cannot afford another $2 billion scam like this.