Posted on Sunday, 03.08.09
Lax scrutiny allowed Medicare fraud to flourish in Miami-Dade
Eighteen shuttered medical equipment suppliers were allowed to reopen -- and then allegedly proceeded to bilk Medicare out of $10 million.
BY JAY WEAVER
In January 2007, Medicare shut down the businesses of 18 medical equipment suppliers in Miami-Dade County after investigators told the federal agency that the companies were shams.
But when Medicare heard their appeals, the operators were quickly reinstated -- only to be indicted later that year for submitting more than $10 million in phony claims to the very agency that had let them back in business, court records show.
Medicare wound up paying those suppliers at least $5 million. Despite mostly successful prosecutions, much of that ill-gotten money was never recovered.