89 individuals, including nurses, doctors and health care professionals in 8 different states were charged with Medicare fraud schemes that costs the U.S. over $223 million in false billing. The joint Department of Justice and HHS Medicare Fraud Strike Force along with state and local law enforcement agencies participated in this takedown.
Thirteen of these perpetrators were charged in Los Angeles and were responsible for defrauding Medicare of over $23 million for unessecary services. Participants were bribed by the doctors and medical clinics into allowing them to write fake prescriptions for unneeded equipment which would later get sold for illegal kickbacks.
Unfortunately, fraud and identity theft can go hand in hand. In this day and age, the sad fact is that we need to be wary of who we do business with and in some cases trust with our lives. This kind of fraud should certainly make you wonder how safe your medical identity is, and if one day you could get denied coverage because someone used your benefits.
Protecting yourself from identity theft requires you to safeguard all of your personal information, and to carry out your business as if everyone wants to steal your information.
Because you never know where the threat may come from; it is recommended that you continue to protect your identity by following a few simple tips:
- Never log onto your healthcare website from an unsecured network such as the local McDonald’s or Starbucks.
- Watch out for shoulder surfers and never make personal phone calls in public.
- If you lose your wallet contact your health insurance company to see about getting a different identification number.
- Never discard your medical records in the trash, but instead use a shredder.
- Never provide your personal data to a caller stating they are from your insurance company.
When it comes to protecting your identity, we all need to stay up to date with the many ways identity thieves try to take our information. Medicare fraud schemes such as the one carried out by several medical professionals throughout the country only made older American’s suffer, because for years the government continues to cut benefits but still overpays for sub par medical treatment.
If you feel that you have been the victim of medical identity theft and you live in Santa Ana, contact your insurance carrier as well as the Santa Ana Police Department at http://www.ci.santa-ana.ca.us/pd/economiccrimes.asp to file either a fraud complaint or an internet crime complaint if the fraud occurred while you were online no matter where you live.
As always thank you for visiting today. Feel free to leave a comment or share your experience. The more we inform each other, the better equipped we are to fight against identity theft, so don’t forget to subscribe for continual updates.
For a link to the full article published by the FBI visit: