Need a Back Brace?

Did you ever see those ads or commercials asking if you had Medicare and that you can get any back brace for free? I had always thought it was a scam. Well, I was right. I am not sure if they were the same people arrested but I hope so.

Medicare scam that peddled unneeded orthopedic braces to hundreds of thousands of seniors. Two dozen people were charged, including doctors accused of writing bogus prescriptions.

The Justice Department said the scheme relied on overseas call centers to pry Medicare numbers from beneficiaries. Authorities also announced charges against owners of call centers, telemedicine firms and medical equipment companies that shipped unneeded back, shoulder, wrist and knee braces.

Profits from the scheme were laundered through offshore shell companies and then used to buy high-end cars, yachts and luxury homes here and abroad, officials said.

Medicare’s anti-fraud unit said it’s taking action against 130 medical equipment companies implicated. The companies billed the program a total of $1.7 billion, but not all of it was paid out.

The loss to Medicare was estimated at more than $1.2 billion.

I wonder if we could make our healthcare system better if we had that $1.2 billion back to play with?

I give credit for the this administration in capturing more and more healthcare criminals. Remember, this blog has been going daily for 18 years and I write about these type of stories all the time. I love them. But it was so rare until the past couple of years. Now it is all the time. I have to give credit where credit is due.

But how did this not get caught in the first place? When is the last time a private insurance company (Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, etc) get bilked for $1.2 billion.

Answer: never.

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