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DOJ Prosecutes Several Telemedicine Fraud Cases

Center for Connected Health Policy

May 2021

Department of Justice is currently on an offensive against telemedicine fraud

According to an article in the National Law Review, the Department of Justice is currently on an offensive against telemedicine fraud. The article cites the following DOJ operations as evidence of the current crack down on telemedicine:

*Operation Brace Yourself targeting an international fraud ring that defrauded $1 billion from Medicare for unnecessary devices.
*A series of telemedicine fraud prosecutions that occurred in 2020 that found more than $1.5 billion in fraudulent Medicare billing.
*On April 22, 2021 the latest crackdown came to light with charges for the owners of orthotic brace suppliers and some marketing companies for a $65 million nationwide kickback and bribery conspiracy. The scheme involved call centers soliciting customers to accept braces even though they didn’t need them and charging Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. The telemedicine companies involved were paid illegal kickback and bribes for their doctors signing the brace orders and swearing to their medical necessity.

These types of incidents are what makes some regulators warry of telehealth. With the increased widespread use of telehealth due to the pandemic, incidents of fraud will likely increase for telehealth. The key will be to ensure that the bad actions of a few don’t interfere with a modality of care that increases access and quality care for so many. Read the full National Law Review article for more information on these fraud cases.

Full National Law Review article:

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