Crime comes in all sorts of forms and methods. It’s almost as if where there are people, there’s bound to be crime. But one of the lowest depths that a person may go is of Medicare fraud. Why? It’s because the very people who are expected to provide health care — let it be remembered that they take oaths to serve the general public— are the very same people who abuse their position in order to profit off of the health problems and emotions of those who find themselves and their loved ones in a dire state.
In July 2017, about 400 individuals were arrested in a nationwide operation that was carried out by more than 1000 law enforcement units in about 30 states. These individuals were arrested for participating in medical care fraud scams. Among the 400 were about 115 licensed medical professionals. These culprits were singled out by way of tips from concerned citizens in affected communities and through the use of complex computers that are able to identify connections.
The majority of the people who were arrested were under observation for the illegal distribution of prescription narcotics such as opioids. Around 90 Americans die of opioid overdose daily. This trend of widespread overdose is said to have been caused by the abuse of pharmaceutical opioids and other prescription narcotics.
Apart from the illegal distribution of opioids, these individuals were also involved in issuing prescriptions in exchange for money. This is one of the main reasons why drug overdose is so prevalent in the country. These controlled substances are meant to be prescribed conservatively for a reason. This is because they are highly addictive.
One account even recalls that opioid addicts would crowd waiting rooms in order to get their prescriptions for the drugs that they take.
This illegal operation was a drug trade of sorts and the worst part was that it involved medical professionals who were fully aware of the impact that these drugs would have on the general populace.
As if that wasn’t enough, one of the culprits even billed the government for an amount that totaled around 164 million dollars for false treatments and false tests. This was money that could have been spent on more relevant ventures.
It is exactly these types of scenarios that truly call for a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act. These greedy people are fostering the very evil that they swore to quell at the expense of those who are in dire need.
Now, getting victimized is not a pleasant experience. The important thing to digest here is that this crackdown was made possible through the vigilance of the concerned public, and the first step to awareness is through knowledge. This article outlines some of the most common health care fraud scams that plague the medical field.
And even after you already know what medicare fraud looks like and you know people who are involved in it, you can even take it a step further and step forward as a whistleblower under a qui tam lawsuit.