Telemedicine Fraud

The Department of Justice announced criminal charges against 42 medical professionals and other people for alleged $1.4 billion health-care fraud. Twenty-three doctors were charged in the illegal schemes.

The cases involve the use of telemedicine services as part of the fraud. Telemedicine employs communications technology to evaluate and treat patients remotely. Telemedicine accounted for approximately $1.1 billion in alleged losses.The telemedicine cases involved allegations of billing Medicare for fraudulent genetic cancer testing, and telemedicine executives paying doctors and others to order unnecessary durable medical equipment, diagnostic testing and medications.

The other charged schemes involved fraud that exploited the Covid-19 pandemic, or involved substance abuse treatment facilities known as “sober homes,” and opioid distribution networks. Opioid-related overdoses killed a record number of Americans, nearly 70,000. Drug overdose deaths overall increased by more than 30%, with 90,000 people dead as a result in 2020.