Not only does Medicare fraud prey on the most vulnerable members of the population, it results in higher health costs for everyone. Since 2008, the government has recovered more than $10 billion as a result of fraud investigations, and new strategies to combat fraud, such as the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Team, are being introduced to prevent abuses to the system.
However, this does not always discourage individuals from attempting to take advantage of federal reimbursements. This week, New Jersey resident Rehan "Ray" Zuberi was taken into custody on fraud charges along with his wife and twelve other associates over fraudulent claims that reeled in $8 million over five years, according to The Jersey Journal.
According to the source, over 100 investigators from the Attorney General's office with cooperation from other agencies seized the Zuberi's assets, including imaging equipment used at 10 diagnostic facilities across New Jersey, as well as a Ferrari, a Rolls Royce and a significant amount of cash and jewelry seized from the Zubei's 9,000 square foot home.
The Jersey Journal reports that this is not Rehan Zuberi's first offense against the Medicaid program. Zuberi pled guilty to defrauding Medicare in 1998, and served less than a year of his six-year sentence. He was reinstated into the Medicaid program by federal authorities in 2007.
Hospitals are hopeful that successful prosecution of fraud cases will help diminish "bad debt" resulting from patients inability to pay for the cost of their care. With today's significant insurance premiums, many patients are prepared for the financial drain, creating a hospital billing backlog. Outsourcing medical claims management can help reduce bad debt, improving the practice's bottom line.