Healthcare scams

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It takes a lot of nerve to cook up a scheme to steal large amounts of money from government agencies such as the VA, especially since in the end the criminals get caught.

One thief tried to convince the VA that he couldn’t use his feet anymore. The scam got him a 100% disability rating (as well as the monthly benefits that went along with it), plus a specially adapted car. He was ratted out by several witnesses who saw him drive to a VA medical center, get out and walk around and sit in a wheelchair before rolling into the center. He was also seen by several others (who had known him a long time) walking around in a mall. Not only did he get sent to prison, but he has to pay back a large amount of money.

And what about the eye doctor who took kickbacks for ordering unnecessary brain scans? His partner in crime was a medical diagnostics company. Not only did they generate fake diagnoses, but they pulled this on hundreds of patients and then sent out the bills. The money he stole ran into the millions, although he only made $100 or so for each fake diagnosis and brain scan he ordered. What would make a doctor, who’d been in practice for 40 years, think he could get away with a scheme like this? He’ll have plenty of time to think about that in prison.

The bigger the scam and the more moving parts, the more likely the criminals are to be caught. Such was the case with a guy who had his fingers in several types of health care fraud: offering and paying kickbacks to doctors who wrote fake test orders, compounded medicines and genetic cancer screenings (costing $10,000 each). The players included not only the doctors but pharmacies, labs and durable medical equipment companies. The perp’s share of the $51 million cash haul for all these schemes was $10 million. He won’t get to spend that in prison.

(c) 2024 King Features Synd., Inc.