DOJ combats costly healthcare fraud in Arizona

by / ⠀News / July 2, 2024
"Arizona Healthcare Fraud"

The U.S. Department of Justice recently conducted a nationwide operation against healthcare fraud, deriving charges against seven individuals from Arizona. This operation aims to combat fraud, which is estimated to cost over $41 million to federal healthcare programs.

The accused allegedly partnered with telemedicine companies and durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers to generate fraudulent DME orders, prescriptions, and services. Potentially unnecessary and unprovided, these services were reportedly funded through illegal bribes and kickbacks.

Among the implicated are four individuals connected to businesses Apex Mobile Medical LLC and Viking Medical Consultants LLC. The DOJ suspects their fraudulent acts against elderly patients cost Medicare over $600 million. The accusations postulate these individuals persuaded elderly patients into expensive and unnecessary treatments for minor wounds, with some patients dying shortly after receiving such treatments.

The operation resulted in the confiscation of assets, including cash, luxury vehicles, and gold, worth roughly $231 million.

Combatting Arizona’s expensive healthcare fraud

The Department of Justice noted that healthcare programs, notably Medicaid and Medicare, incurred about $1.6 billion in losses due to the scams.

The operation resulted in the arrest of 76 medical professionals, including two nurse practitioners from Arizona. FBI Director Christopher Wray emphasized the harm caused by healthcare fraud, especially to vulnerable patients and healthcare programs. Furthermore, he expressed a robust commitment to combatting healthcare fraud.

There are additional charges against three Arizonans for operating large-scale Medicaid fraud schemes, primarily defrauding taxpayers for up to $2.5 billion. They allegedly ran many rehab centers throughout Arizona, exploiting vulnerable individuals dealing with substance addiction. The fraudulent charges include racketeering, money laundering, and fraud.

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This case has brought to the forefront Arizona’s healthcare industry’s concern for healthcare fraud, highlighting a need for systemic reform. It pushes for enforceable transparency, accountability, and more rigid oversight of Medicaid spending in the recovery industry.

Included among the accused is Rita Anagho, who allegedly committed fraud against Arizona’s Medicaid agency, falsely claiming $55.3 million between May 2022 and March 2023. Additionally, Adam Mutwol and David Koleosho stand accused of defrauding their outpatient treatment center of $57 million via alleged kickbacks and bribes for treatment referrals.

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