The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates that tens of billions of dollars per year are lost to healthcare fraud, including Medicare fraud. Many of these losses can be attributed to the fact that Medicare is required to pay medical claims quickly. As a result, claims are often paid long before they can be flagged for potential fraud, which means that these monetary losses can easily occur.
But this type of healthcare fraud isn’t a victimless crime. Instead, it often preys upon the disabled and elderly, making them unwitting victims of large criminal schemes. Read on to learn about one recent scam that caused over $1.2 billion in Medicare losses.
About the Scam Targeting the ElderlyThe scam was based on durable medical equipment (DME) companies paying illegal kickbacks and bribes in exchange for referrals of Medicare beneficiaries. Authorities describe this scam, which involved telemedicine, as one of the largest healthcare frauds they’ve ever investigated. The scam targeted hundreds of thousands of elderly or disabled patients and involved call centers in other countries.