Eleven people were charged in an indictment unsealed on Thursday with "scamming Medicare to get painkillers," the Associated Press reports.
"A federal indictment in Detroit says the government unwittingly paid more than $480,000 to a phony health-care business that was a front for acquiring and selling painkillers." Authorities say Quick Response Medical Professionals paid people up to $220 to be seen by a doctor and that those visits were then reimbursed by Medicare. The case also involves thousands of doses of OxyContin worth more than $5 million that were sold during 2007 and 2008. The AP noted that "the government says Medicare and Medicaid fraud costs taxpayers billions each year" (6/4).
Detroit Free Press: "The group distributed the prescription painkillers across southeast Michigan, and as far away as Alabama and Kentucky." During a raid, officials "discovered OxyContin, Xanax, Lortab, codeine-based cough syrups, a small amount of heroin and heroin packaging materials and more than $160,000" (Battaglia, 6/4).