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What is Medicare fraud?

Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the U.S., and the government is a part of it. Medicare provides health insurance for older Americans. Surely most of our readers are either on Medicare, or have relatives who do.

Because of the size and cost of this important program, the government is always on the lookout for what it describes as fraud. According to a website co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Justice Department, Medicare fraud occurs when the program is billed for healthcare services or supplies that were never received. The site says the government loses “billions of dollars” to Medicare fraud each year.

Some examples of possible fraud include:

  • A healthcare provider billing Medicare for services or equipment the patient never received
  • Someone using a patient’s Medicare card to get medical care or equipment
  • A company offering a Medicare drug plan that Medicare has not approved
  • A company misleading people into joining a Medicare plan by using false information

The federal government devotes four separate programs to combating Medicare fraud. It has recovered more than $10 billion in funds since 2008. In addition, state and local law enforcement are on the lookout for fraudulent Medicare claims.

This aggressive pursuit may catch Michigan residents in its net. These people may be wrongfully accused, or they made a mistake. In other cases, they may have gone along with another person’s advice or scheme, and now are facing serious criminal charges. No matter the details behind the charges, someone charged with Medicare fraud should find a defense attorney as soon as possible.

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