DOJ charges 138 with health-care fraud, including opioids, Covid, telemedicine

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The Division of Justice on Friday introduced felony prices in opposition to 42 medical professionals and almost 100 different folks for alleged health-care fraud that concerned about $1.4 billion in suspected losses.

The circumstances charged embrace ones that concerned using telemedicine companies as a part of the fraud, which alone accounted for roughly $1.1 billion in alleged losses. Telemedicine employs communications know-how to guage and deal with sufferers remotely.

The opposite charged schemes concerned fraud that exploited the Covid-19 pandemic, or concerned substance abused therapy amenities referred to as “sober properties,” and opioid distribution networks.

“We’re stopping corrupt medical professionals of their tracks,” Assistant Lawyer Normal Kenneth Well mannered Jr. of the Justice Division’s Legal Division advised reporters throughout a briefing concerning the case.

The 138 folks charged within the circumstances embrace 23 physicians, the DOJ mentioned. The circumstances are being prosecuted by 31 U.S. Attorneys’ places of work across the nation.

Well mannered famous that opioid-related overdoses killed a “report variety of Individuals, almost 70,000,” final 12 months, and that drug overdose deaths total elevated by greater than 30%, with 90,000 folks lifeless in consequence in 2020.

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Nineteen folks have been charged in opioid-related fraud circumstances by the DOJ, 16 of whom have been medical doctors or different medical professionals.

“Holding to account these chargeable for well being care fraud and diversion of prescribed drugs is a precedence for DEA,” mentioned DEA Administrator Anne Milgram in an announcement.

“These fraudulent actions prey on our most susceptible – these in ache, the substance-addicted, and even the homeless – those that are most inclined to guarantees of aid, restoration, or a brand new begin,” Milgram mentioned.

” Not solely do these schemes revenue from desperation, however they typically depart their victims even deeper in habit.”

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