How much healthcare money is really wasted in fraud in the United States? Last year, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid estimated that fraud added $98 billion to the annual spending for these programs. Across the entire health care system including private insurance, it is estimated that there is $272 billion a year wasted in fraudulent billing.
The federal government opens up over 2000 health fraud probes a year. The government’s fraud unit recovers $8 for every $1 it spends investigating fraud.
What are some examples of medical fraud cases?
One doctor in Miami fraudulently charged for $24 million of medical equipment, delivering wheelchairs to thousands of people who did not need them, and then billing Medicare $5000 per chair.
Last year in Louisiana, a pharmacy owner paid nursing home staff to bring her unused medications, and she re-packaged them and sold them as new, charging Medicare $2.2 million dollars.
A clinic in New York was charged with fraud recently for producing illegal prescriptions for oxycodone, a narcotic, and selling the prescriptions for $30-90 each.