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21 charged in Medicare fraud crackdown

Federal prosecutors have charged 21 people with Medicare fraudin metro Detroit.

The indictments include doctors, physical therapists and clinic managers. They’re charged with billing Medicare for $23 million in services that either weren’t needed, or were never performed.

Andrew Arena heads the FBI’s Detroit office. He says one of the most striking examples is a physician who did $8 million worth of home visits:

"In one day this person provided services to 47 patients. To do what she did, she would had to have driven in excess of 454 miles, and she would have actually had to work 47 hours in that day."

The indictments are part of a broader national crackdown on Medicare fraud. Most of the charges carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to a $250,000. Prosecutors say they’ll also try to recover money obtained through fraud.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.
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