Thursday, July 30, 2009

Feds Bust Medicare Fraud Ring In Houston Area

HOUSTON—Federal authorities arrested 27 people in Houston Wednesday in a major Medicare fraud bust that spanned across the country.

Medicare fraud raid

Investigators claim the suspects were scamming Medicare by falsely billing for medical items that were not needed or never used.

Arrests were also made in New York, Boston and Louisiana. In all, 32 people were taken into custody.

More than 200 agents worked on Wednesday’s $16 million bust, which included 12 search warrants at health care businesses and homes across the Houston area.

One of those businesses was Memorial Medical Supply on Dairy Ashford and I-10.

Shocked employees were met by federal agents when they arrived at work.

Federal agents raided several locations in Houston after a nationwide investigation into Medicare fraud.
The agents confiscated paperwork and a computer.

They were also seen removing boxes of evidence from the business.

Federal authorities say the businesses were giving patients “arthritis kits,” which were nothing more than expensive orthotics, including knee and shoulder braces. Patients told authorities they were unnecessary, and many never used them. But health care clinic owners billed $3,000 - $4,000 for each kit.

Houston’s other scam involved billing Medicare for thousands of dollars worth of liquid food for patients who can’t eat solids. Authorities said clinic owners never distributed the food to patients. In some cases, clinic owners billed patients who were dead when they allegedly received the items.


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