This morning, a local new source is reporting that 14 area defendants were charged in unrelated health care fraud cases. Among the charged are a Chicago area physician, two chiropractors, three nurses, a pharmacist, and several home health industry administrators and recruiters. Seven of the defendants were charged for violating the anti-kickback statute, an essential provision, which makes kickbacks illegal in exchange for medical referrals. In total, the defendants were charged in eight different cases.
Eric Holder, Attorney General for the United States, sees this latest crackdown as part of a successful, ongoing law enforcement initiative against the crime of health care fraud. He stated, "We have to protect our nation's most essential health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid... As today's arrests prove, we are waging an aggressive fight against health care fraud."
In addition, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, has announced the formation of a HEAT strike force in northern Illinois to crack down on health care fraud. Along with his efforts, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved to carry out this law enforcement. Officials have pointed to the increased cost of health care services as a vital reason for pursing these crackdowns.