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Authorities charge 91 in $430 million Medicare fraud

Posted: October 4, 2012 |   Comments

(Reuters) - Ninety-one people including doctors, nurses and other medical professionals were charged criminally in a new sweep of Medicare fraud involving seven U.S. cities and $430 million in alleged false billing, officials said on Thursday.

It was the government's second big raid in recent months after a similar effort in May alleged $452 million in fraud in Medicare, the U.S. health program for the elderly and disabled.

The allegations include billing the government for unnecessary ambulance rides in California, writing prescriptions for patients in Dallas who did not qualify for them and paying kickbacks such as food and cigarettes to patients in Houston if they attended programs a hospital could later bill for.

The investigation is part of an effort by President Barack Obama's administration to find healthcare savings, an issue that also flared during Wednesday's debate between Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

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