Federal authorities filed charges against 138 medical professionals involved in a massive health care fraud nationwide.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the 138 defendants include doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals in 31 federal districts across the United States.
They were allegedly involved in the submission of more than $1.4 billion in fraudulent billings to Medicare and other government insurers.
The largest amount of fraud billings were connected to telemedicine. More than 43 defendants in 11 judicial districts submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and other government insurers.
Some of the defendants were telemedicine executives who allegedly paid doctors and nurse practitioners who ordered unnecessary durable medical equipment, genetic, and other diagnostic testings, as well as pain medications with only a brief conversation or without any interaction with a patient.
Durable medical equipment companies, genetic testing laboratories, and pharmacies then purchased those orders and submitted over $1.1 billion in false and fraudulent billings to Medicare and other government insurers. In exchange, they received illegal kickbacks and bribes.