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89 charged in Medicare fraud busts in 8 cities

3 years 4 months 2 weeks ago May 14, 2013 May 14, 2013 Tuesday, May 14 2013 May 14, 2013 12:27 PM in News
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Nearly 100 people, including 11 in Louisiana, are being charged for their roles in separate Medicare scams that billed the taxpayer-funded program for roughly $223 million in bogus charges spanning eight cities.

Tuesday's announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder marks the latest in a string of arrests as federal authorities crack down on fraud that's believed to cost the program between $60 billion and $90 billion each year.

Stopping Medicare's budget from hemorrhaging that money will be key to paying for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The 11 people in Louisiana facing charges include five in New Orleans connected to a $51 million home health fraud scheme, and six connected to more than $30 million in fraud from a community mental health center called Shifa Texas.

These charges come on top of charges brought against the owners and operators of Shifa Baton Rouge, a related community mental health center which is at the center of an alleged $225 million scheme charged in an earlier indictment.

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