A major Medicare scam had acquired $1.2 billion before being shut down.
This particular scheme was a notably well-organized and large one. First, telemarketers would call senior citizens and claim to offer them free orthopedic braces. If the recipient approves, the scammers would then send the call to a location in the Philippines or Latin America. Next, the call would be sent to a telemedicine company which would verify medicare coverage. The doctors involved would then write a prescription for one or several unnecessary braces. Next, the call center would collect the prescription and send it to a medical equipment company which would send the braces to the elderly victim. The ‘free’ braces would then be billed to Medicare, costing Medicare $500-$900 per brace, then the company would kick back $300 per brace.
The Department of Justice made the announcement last Tuesday. If you have heard of or experienced telemarketing calls regarding much-needed braces for senior citizens who are in pain, than you can rest assured that the scheme has been dealt with. Federal law enforcement officers filed charges against 24 individuals residing in the US who they allege perpetrated the scam. The arrests include doctors who allegedly wrote fake prescriptions for unneeded braces. Other charges involved call center owners, medical equipment company officials, and telemedicine firms, according to Associated Press.