Washington, Feb 18 (IANS) At least six Indian Americans are among more than 100 doctors, nurses and health care executives arrested by the authorities in the biggest US crackdown on Medicare fraud.
In all, 111 persons were arrested in nine cities across the nation Thursday on charges of making false billings to defraud government health insurance programme Medicare of over $225 million.
“We are pleased to announce the largest federal healthcare fraud takedown in our nation’s history,” proclaimed Attorney General Eric Holder.
“Medical professionals charge for phantom procedures and unnecessary equipment. Kickbacks dictate treatment. Fraud drives prescriptions. Criminals profit, and taxpayers foot the bill,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said.
Thirty-two defendants, including two doctors and eight nurses, were charged in Miami with various fraud schemes.
Another 21 defendants were charged in Detroit, along with 11 in Chicago; 10 in Brooklyn, New York; 10 in Tampa, Florida; nine in Houston; seven in Dallas; six in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and five in Los Angeles.
Medicare covers all Americans 65 and older. About 45 million elderly and disabled Americans are enrolled in taxpayer-funded Medicare plans.
An estimated 60,000 Indian-origin doctors are among about a million doctors in the US.
In Chicago, among those arrested was Indian American Jaswinder Rai Chhibber, 48, president and owner of a medical clinic.
In Detroit, the arrested included Vishnu Pradeep Meda, 30, Ram Naresh Rajulapati, 31 and Surya Nallani, 43.