The New York Times reports that the Justice Department held a press conference today to announce the arrests of hundreds of people across the nation, including dozens of physicians. The 412 arrested are accused of collectively defrauding the federal government of $1.3 billion.
About 50 of those arrested are doctors, the Times reports. The allegations against them include billing Medicare and Medicaid for drugs never purchased; submitting false claims for rehab treatments and tests; and selling prescriptions for cash.
Acting director of the F.B.I. Andrew G. McCabe said some of the doctors wrote more prescriptions for opioids in a single month than entire hospitals wrote.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “This event again highlights the enormity of the fraud challenge we face.”
The arrests were made across the nation last week, a spokesperson for the Justice Department said. The more than 400 prosecutions set a new record for the decade-old Medicare fraud task force.
The Times notes that the opioids hydrocodone and oxycodone are among the powerful narcotics most often abused.
Sessions says it is important for the nation’s prosecutors to crack down on those accused of drug crimes. In May, he ordered federal prosecutors to seek maximum penalties in the cases, even when mandatory minimum sentences are available.
Before speaking with prosecutors, physicians and others who face health care fraud investigation or charges should talk to a New York City law firm experienced in protecting rights and freedom.
Rivas Goldstein, LLP attorneys represent doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical providers and health care businesses.