Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dozens arrested in Medicare mental health fraud

Sep 7th, 2011
By Jay Weaver
Miami Herald

Federal agents busted 42 South Florida suspects on Medicare fraud charges as part of a Justice Department sweep targeting hotspots from Miami to Los Angeles.

Out-of-state patients, suffering from disabilities and addictions, were lured to South Florida with the promise of a roof over their head. But once they arrived, with their valuable Medicare cards in hand, they would be squeezed into rundown Assisted-Living Facilities and steered to purported mental-health programs -- at a multimillion-dollar cost to taxpayers, authorities say. If they dropped out of the group therapy sessions, the ALF owners would toss the patients out into the street.

Collectively, they’re accused of submitting $160 million in false claims to Medicare for services that were either not needed or provided to patients.

The biggest case was the new indictment of Biscayne Milieu and 23 defendants, including the family owners, a psychiatrist, Dr. Gary Kushner, patient recruiters and ALF operators. The clinic owners are accused of paying recruiters and landlords to lure out-of-state patients into the scheme.

Crime in Mental Health Care

For decades psychiatrists and psychologists have claimed a monopoly over the field of mental health. Governments and private health insurance companies have provided them with billions of dollars every year to treat "mental illness," only to face industry demands for even more funds to improve the supposed, ever-worsening state of mental health. No other industry can afford to fail consistently and expect to get more funding.

A significant portion of these appropriations and insurance reimbursements has been lost due to financial fraud within the mental health industry, an international problem estimated to cost more than a hundred billion dollars every year. The United States loses approximately $100 billion to health care fraud each year, with up to $40 billion of this due to fraudulent practices in the mental health industry.

For more information about psychiatric fraud, download and read the free CCHR booklet, Massive Fraud - Psychiatry's Corrupt Industry - Report and recommendations on the criminal mental health monopoly.

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