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Defrauding Medicare, what should teh punishment be?

Federal authorities charged more than 100 doctors, nurses and physical therapists in nine cities with Medicare fraud Thursday, part of a massive nationwide bust that snared more suspects than any other in history.

More than 700 law enforcement agents fanned out to arrest dozens of people accused of illegally billing Medicare more than $225 million. The arrests are the latest in a string of major busts in the past two years as authorities have struggled to pare the fraud that's believed to cost the government between $60 billion and $90 billion each year. Stopping Medicare's budget from hemorrhaging that money will be key to paying for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder partnered in 2009 to allocate more money and manpower in fraud hot spots. Thursday's indictments were for suspects in Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, Tampa, Fla., and Baton Rouge, La.

They show that "health care fraud is not easy money," Holder said at a press conference in Washington.

A podiatrist performing partial toenail removals was among 21 indicted in Detroit. Dr. Errol Sherman is accused of billing Medicare about $700,000 for the costly and unnecessary procedures, which authorities said amounted to little more than toenail clippings. The podiatrist billed Medicare for 20 nail removals on three toes of one patient, according to the indictment. He charged Medicare about $110 for each procedure.

A message could not be left at Sherman's office Thursday.

A Brooklyn, N.Y., proctologist was charged with billing $6.5 million for hemorrhoid removals, most of which he never performed. Dr. Boris Sachakov claimed he performed 10 hemorrhoid removals on one patient, which authorities said is not possible. An employee who answered at Sachakov's office declined comment Thursday.

Sachakov had been arrested last year on charges related to a separate scam. Sachokov denied the charges.

Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 1:13 PM on Feb. 18, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I think they should lose their medical licenses. Disgusting.
    jamesonjustines

    Answer by jamesonjustines at 1:16 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:17 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Loss of medical license, restitution and probabation
    Syphon

    Answer by Syphon at 1:19 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • There was a doctor in my home town who got caught over-billing Medicare a few years ago and in the end he got fined big time and his medical license revoked or suspended I don't remember which one.
    Nanixh

    Answer by Nanixh at 1:34 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Lose their medical license. Have to repay.
    tootoobusy

    Answer by tootoobusy at 1:54 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Loss of license, fine, do some jail time.
    jesse123456

    Answer by jesse123456 at 2:04 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Sounds like Medicare oversight needs to be revamped.
    tasches

    Answer by tasches at 2:10 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • loss of license, repayment +heavy fines
    kayslay

    Answer by kayslay at 3:20 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • I think they should have to perform necessary procedures on indigent patients at no charge until full restitution is made followed by a permanent revocation of their liscense
    sopranomommy

    Answer by sopranomommy at 4:37 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

  • Jail and repayment
    itsmesteph11

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 5:19 PM on Feb. 18, 2011

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