On June 28, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced their annual nationwide health care fraud “takedown,” an orchestrated event that this year involved a total of 601 charged defendants in 58 federal districts. Those charged included 165 doctors, nurses and other licensed professionals. The defendants included 76 doctors and 86 other individuals who were allegedly involved in unlawfully prescribing and distributing opioids and other narcotics.Previous annual takedowns were discussed here, here and here. According to the DOJ, this year’s targets accounted for more than $2 billion in false billings to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and private insurance companies.
The takedown was led and coordinated by the Criminal Division, Fraud Section’s Health Care Fraud Unit in conjunction with the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a partnership between the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the OIG and the FBI. Various other federal agencies and State Medicaid Fraud Control Units also participated in the operation.