Feds Charge 14 in Schemes that Exploited Pandemic
The Department of Justice announced criminal charges against 14 defendants in seven federal districts across the United States for their alleged participation in various health care fraud schemes that exploited the COVID-19 pandemic and resulted in over $143 million in false billings. Multiple defendants allegedly offered COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries at senior living facilities, drive-through COVID-19 testing sites, and medical offices to induce them to provide their personal identifying information and a saliva or blood sample. Defendants then misused the information and samples to submit claims to Medicare for unrelated, medically unnecessary, and far more expensive laboratory tests, including cancer genetic testing, allergy testing, and respiratory pathogen panel tests. Defendants are also alleged to have exploited policies that were put in place to enable increased access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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