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Federal agents arrest 89 suspected of Medicare fraud

Medicare is the public health insurance provider for millions of Americans. In Portland, Oregon this government health program is paid for, in part, by the federal government and by taxes paid by taxpayers.

Medical care has become more and more expensive and Portland residents rely on Medicare to provide quality healthcare for a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, some medical practitioners are facing accusations of fraud, alleging that they are over-billing for their services and performing unnecessary procedures on patients.

Medicare fraud typically occurs when a healthcare provider collects illegitimate reimbursements from the government. Illegitimate reimbursements are collections for over-billed services or the provision of unnecessary services to clients. Those are the federal charges against 89 people, including doctors and nurses, in several major cities in the United States.

According to sources, 89 medical practitioners have been arrested recently in a coordinated effort by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The arrests are for suspicion of Medicare fraud schemes. The alleged crimes cost the government $223 million in false billings.

Various federal criminal charges were brought against the defendants. Those health care charges are based on a variety of alleged fraud schemes. They cover an array of professional medical services from care providers, mental health services and therapy. The alleged fraud also includes use of medical equipment and ambulance services. The individuals involved are charged with medical fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and kickback violations.

The charges are punishable by federal statutes and can negatively affect medical practitioners. A conviction may lead to possible jail sentences and fines. The court may also suspend professional licenses, resulting in long-term losses and the inability to work in the medical field.

It is advisable that those accused of federal charges here in Portland speak with a trusted legal professional who can explain the person's rights and which actions should be taken. A knowledgeable legal professional may be able to formulate a good defensive strategy to clear the defendant's name or possibly to decrease charges and penalties.

Source: washingtontimes.com, "Federal task force takes down Medicare fraud racket," Jerry Seper, May 14, 2013

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