78 people face charges for $2.5 billion in attempted health care fraud, DOJ says

78 individuals across 16 states have been charged for their roles in $2.5 billion in attempted health care fraud and opioid abuse schemes targeting vulnerable groups.

Targets and Tactics: Federal and state enforcement agencies allege the schemes were targeted at the elderly, pregnant women, and HIV patients.
* Medical professionals, pharmaceutical company executives, and telemedicine business operators are among those charged.

Major Cases: Two significant cases were highlighted in the Justice Department’s announcement.
* $1.9 billion in false and fraudulent claims were submitted to Medicare and other government insurers by Brett Blackman, Gregory Schreck, and Gary Cox, executives of DMERx, for medically unnecessary items.
* The case of Lazaro Hernandez, who illegally resold more than $230 million in medications, including HIV drugs, is also notable. Hernandez sourced leftover prescription drugs from patients, with HIV patients reselling their drugs to him. These medications were then resold to pharmacies across the nation.

Recoverable Assets: Agency officials have seized $10.3 million in assets related to these cases.
* The seized assets include cars, boats, and real estate.

Financial Impact: Of the $2.5 billion in attempted health care fraud, at least $1.1 billion was paid out, according to agency officials.

View original article on NPR

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