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DOJ charges 36 over $1.2B in phony telehealth claim fraud schemes

Fierce Healthcare

Federal prosecutors charged 36 defendants with committing a variety of alleged schemes to bilk Medicare using telehealth, as regulators continue to tinker with how to make the COVID-19 telehealth boom permanent.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday that the defendants allegedly engaged in a series of actions that led to $1.2 billion in medical fraud, with much of that coming from phony telehealth claims for advanced genetic testing and unnecessary medical equipment.

“Fraudsters and scammers take advantage of telemedicine and use it as a platform to orchestrate their criminal schemes,” said Luis Quesada, assistant director in the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in a statement. “This collaborative law enforcement action shows our dedication to investigating and bringing to justice those who look to exploit our U.S. health care system at the expense of patients.”


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