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U.S. charges 412 in health fraud schemes worth $1.3 billion
14 July 2017, 12:38 | Clarence Schmidt
WATCH LIVE | National healthcare fraud investigation leads to arrests in Kentucky and Indiana
Those arrested included 120 doctors and other people charged for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioid painkillers.
At the end of the press conference, Sessions and Price discussed their strategies to address the country's drug-addiction epidemic, which is heavily fueled by increased levels of opioid prescriptions.
The allegations include claims that those charged billed the programmes for unnecessary drugs that were never purchased or never given to the patients.
Some of the health care fraud scams have been identified by local reporters in the communities where they occurred. One of them is a doctor.
Attorney General Jeff Sessionssaid the agencies are working to develop new techniques to identify more fraud cases faster. "Some have made their practices into multimillion dollar criminal enterprises". 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".
Mr. Sessions has emphasized cracking down on drug crime as a priority, directing the nation's prosecutors in May to be maximally tough in charging such crimes, even when they may carry mandatory minimum prison sentences.
California's lax regulation of the industry has been attacked for myriad failings over the years.
The action was the largest taken against health fraud in DOJ history, according to the department.
He said almost 300 healthcare providers are being suspended or banned from participating in federal healthcare programmes.
Sessions highlighted some of the fraud cases involved and noted a significant number of cases were related to opioid claims. "Aggressively pursuing corrupt medical professionals not only has a deterrent effect on other medical professionals, but also ensures that their licenses can no longer be used to bilk the system". AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. The total defendants and false claims far surpassed last year's Medicare fraud takedown, which has become an annual show of force to combat the persistent problem that has cost the US government billions of dollars in losses over the past decade.
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