The U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against 24 individuals allegedly involved in more than $1.2 billion Medicare fraud.
The defendants in the case include CEOs and COOs of telemedicine companies, owners of durable medical equipment (DME) companies, and licensed medical professionals.
Additionally, the Center for Medicare Services/Center for Program Integrity (CMS/CPI) took administrative action against 130 DMEs that submitted over $1.7 billion in claims and were paid over $900 million.
The DOJ sued the defendants in multiple states including California, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.
Allegations against the defendants
In its complaint, the DOJ alleged that some of the defendants controlled an international telemarketing network that lured hundreds of thousands of elderly or disabled patients to buy unnecessary orthopedic braces.
The defendants allegedly paid doctors to prescribe orthopedic braces without any interaction or with just a brief telephone conversation with a patient they never met.