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601 people charged in major health care crackdown

01 July 2018

The Justice Department on Thursday announced charges against 601 people, including 76 physicians, for allegedly taking part in multi-billion-dollar profit-making schemes involving opioid painkillers. "Our office will aggressively fight health care fraud and prosecute those individuals who contribute to the opioid epidemic".

According to the CDC, 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the 2016 alone.

While the Justice Department has been conducting investigations into some opioid manufacturers like OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, the cases stemming from the sweep did not focus on wrongdoing by major corporations. Officials said Steiner, as the operator of Kentuckiana Mental Health Associates, prescribed medically unnecessary drugs, also prescribing drugs outside professional practice.

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In the Los Angeles-based Central District, most of the medical professionals were charged with schemes to defraud health insurance programs such as Medicare. The cases allege health care fraud and kickback scams involving surgeries, compounded drugs, home health services, Medicare Part D prescription drugs and hospice care. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says they're accused of more than $2 billion dollars in fraud.

The alleged scheme - spearheaded by Michael Drobot, the previously convicted former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach - involved more than $40 million in illegal kickbacks paid to doctors and other medical professionals in exchange for referring thousands of patients who received surgeries and other services at Pacific Hospital. These are despicable crimes. He thanked law enforcement agencies for their investigations.

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"It is not that we are over-regulating, but doctors and medical practitioners are more aware", he said.

Dr. Kim allegedly took part in a scheme to submit claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that were not medically necessary, not provided, or otherwise did not qualify for reimbursement. In many cases, the charges are that patient recruiters, beneficiaries and other co-conspirators were paid cash kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers, so that the providers could then submit fraudulent bills to Medicare.

Last year, the DOJ charged more than 400 people for allegedly participating in health care fraud activities totaling approximately $1.3 billion in false billings. To generate a high volume of prescriptions, Global hired representatives who were married or related to doctors and other prescribers, and encouraged sales representatives to volunteer at doctors' offices where they would review patient files and push Global's products to patients, according to court documents.

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601 people charged in major health care crackdown