On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, announced that the Department of Justice has charged 412 people across 41 federal districts with $1.3 billion in health care fraud; the largest takedown of its kind in history.
Those charged include doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field with a targeted focus on schemes within Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, which services veterans.
"Too many trusted medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and pharmacists have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients. Amazingly, some have made their practices into multimillion dollar criminal enterprises. They seem oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their greed. Their actions not only enrich themselves often at the expense of taxpayers but also feed addictions and cause addictions to start. The consequences are real: emergency rooms, jail cells, futures lost, and graveyards."
These busts include 120 doctors who fraudulently prescribed opioids unnecessarily and received kickbacks in the process.
Price said these crimes are bad for the country:
"Health care fraud is not only a criminal act that costs billions of taxpayer dollars—it is an affront to all Americans who rely on our national health care programs for access to critical health care services and a violation of trust. The United States is home to the world's best medical professionals, but their ability to provide affordable, high-quality care to their patients is jeopardized every time a criminal commits health care fraud."
While Sessions considered this a “historic day,” he promised the DoJ isn’t relaxing and will continue to find fraud and pluck it out through the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which was created in 2007 and “has charged over 3,500 defendants collectively responsible for over $12.5 billion in fraud,” the Washington Free Beacon reports.