412 individuals charged in $1.3B fraud crackdown: 5 key notes

In the largest healthcare fraud enforcement action to date, the U.S. government filed fraud-related charges against 412 individuals including 115 physicians, nurses and licensed medical professionals.

Here's what you should know:

1. The individuals allegedly participated in healthcare fraud schemes amounting to $1.3 billion in false billings.

2. Over 120 of the charged individuals prescribed and distributed opioids and other "dangerous narcotics."

3. In addition to the arrests, HHS has initiated suspension actions against 295 physicians, nurses and pharmacists.

4. The charges were the result of a campaign to target individuals falsely billing Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare for unnecessary prescriptions. In many instances these medications were never purchased or distributed.

5. HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, said in a release, "Healthcare fraud is not only a criminal act that costs billions of taxpayer dollars — it is an affront to all Americans who rely on our national healthcare programs for access to critical healthcare services and a violation of trust."

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