Feds spotlight South Florida’s mental health clinics for “questionable billing” to Medicare


A new federal report shines light on South Florida’s mental health clinics for submitting “questionable billing” to Medicare, as prosecutors crack down on multimillion-dollar fraud schemes.  


    Congress tight with Medicare anti-fraud funds


    Congress for years has turned a deaf ear to requests by the Medicare agency for money to fight fraud, which a Miami Herald investigation has identified as a threat to the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled.  


    Medicare agency stymied in quest for 'a pound of cure'


    The federal Medicare agency spends less than two-tenths of a cent of every dollar in its budget to fight abuse, waste and fraud.  

  • Medicare fraud fugitives evade capture


    The Benitez brothers were masters of Medicare fraud, prosecutors say. They spent their Medicare millions on Mediterranean-style homes, apartments, hotels, boats, a helicopter, even a water park -- all in the resort area of Bavaro, Dominican Republic, court records show.  


    A former scam artist tells how it works


    Angel Castillo Jr., a convicted drug trafficker who found his calling in healthcare fraud, offered an inside look at Medicare corruption in Miami-Dade.  


    Clinics make a mint on fake HIV treatment


    Scores of Miami-Dade healthcare clinics are defrauding the U.S. government by billing for bogus HIV drug infusion treatment as part of a multibillion-dollar underground economy.  


    Nurse takes down phony equipment dealers


    Federal inspections of about 1,500 medical equipment businesses in South Florida found that about one-third did not exist or were closed. Those ghost providers were paid $97 million by Medicare in 2006.  

  • Prosecutors called their business 'All-Fraud'


    Starting in their 20s, a Miami-Dade couple built what would turn out to be one of the largest Medicare fraud schemes in the country.  

  • South Florida medical equipment providers


    There are nearly 2,100 South Florida businesses licensed by Medicare to sell medical supplies such as wheelchairs, artificial limbs and home oxygen equipment. Miami-Dade County has the most, with 931 active providers, followed by Broward County, 782, and Palm Beach County, 385.  

  • Medicare fraud rampant in South Florida


    Whenever Alexander McCray lights up his crack pipe, U.S. taxpayers help pay for his habit. McCray has defrauded Medicare by selling his government-issued health card number to private clinics in exchange for kickbacks of $150 to $300 a visit -- as often as three times a day, three times a week over seven years, according to federal records and his own admission.  


    For one couple, stress took a toll


    Retired banker William Sayre tried to tell Medicare it was being cheated. But before the government finally caught up with the scam, taxpayers had lost more than $62,000.  

  • Medicare at a glance


    Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to 44 million people -- about one in seven Americans. People aged 65 and older are automatically entitled to Medicare if they or their spouse are eligible for Social Security. This group accounts for about 37 million Medicare beneficiaries.

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