On February 17, 2011, more than one hundred doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other medical providers were arrested as part of a huge, nationwide investigation dealing with medicare fraud. Approximately seven hundred law enforcement personnel were involved in the arrests of individuals accused with illegally defrauding medicare of more than $225 million dollars. The $225 million dollars represented illegal false billing of medicare for services that either were not necessary or never provided. Medicare fraud is a huge problem in the United States. It is one of the causes of the high expense rate for this program.
The February 17, 2011 medicare fraud arrests involved individuals in the following cities: Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, New York, Tampa, Florida and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In Detroit, a pediatrist who performed unnecessary partial toenail removals by the name of Dr. Errol Sherman was accused of defrauding medicare out of $700,000 for these unnecessary procedures. His alleged partial toenail removals were actually Dr. Sherman simply cutting the toenails of his patients. Dr. Sherman had the audacity to bill medicare for twenty toenail removals on three toes for one patient! He charged medicare $110.00 for each of these non-existent treatments. Query – how many toes can a patient have?
Scandalous Brooklyn Proctologist
Dr. Borus Sachakow, located in Brooklyn, New York, is a proctologist. He billed medicaid for ten hemorrhoid removals for one patient. This is impossible! Dr. Sachakow had been previously arrested last year on criminal charges for other fraudulent medicaid activities.
Three clinics in Brooklyn, New York, that specialized in physical therapy were also busted. These clinics were part of an organized crime ring operated by Russian immigrants. They paid recruiters to find senior citizens to come to their office for unnecessary treatment. They billed medicaid $57 million for physical therapy that consisted of back rubs.
Home Care, Inc., which was run by two Miami physicians, was charged with writing $25 million worth of fake prescriptions. In Miami, more than three dozen individuals were charged with medicaid fraud. They were charged with falsely billing medicaid for more than $56 million. The busts on Thursday, February 17, 2011, were in addition to the arrests of twenty one people in Miami on Tuesday of that week for $200 million in medicare fraud.
John Gillis, the FBI Agent in charge, stated “we can arrest and charge people every day and it still won’t make a dent until changes are made to medicare.”
Unfortunately, medicare operates under a system that pays for medical services without investigating as to whether these services were actually necessary. Medicare is one of the largest medical supplier systems in the world. It has more than $1.3 million licensed suppliers nationwide. This is increasing by more than 18,000 new suppliers coming onto the system each and every month. This system program needs a better system of policing.
Medicare Needs To Be Reformed
America is going broke. Medicare is one of those programs that is contributing to the financial problems faced by state and local governments. The medicare system must be changed. Procedures must be developed to provide quality medical care. The system today promotes high quantities of unnecessary medical procedures. We simply can no longer afford this!
There are many issues faced by senior citizens. The elder care lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can assist seniors with these issues. We draft wills. We probate wills. We litigate contested wills and estates for family members and friends of the decedents. We engage in medicaid planning. We deal with nursing home issues and we assist our clients when they feel there has been nursing home abuse. We draft special needs trusts for special needs children. We also provide tax planning advise for our high net worth clients concerning estate tax issues. Call us for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344-6431 or 718-350-2802.