The L.A. Times published an extended analysis of new allegations of widespread Medicaid and Medicare fraud affecting many local senior citizens.
One scam involves tricking Chicago senior citizens into thinking that they need medical services that they do not, bilking Medicare information from those seniors, charging the public for the services, and pocketing the public funds. The scam is spearheaded by a business currently being investigated by local authorities in the Illinois Senior Medicare Patrol.
Chicago was recently identified as a “hot spot” of Medicare fraud, which experts believe costs American taxpayers as much as $70 billion a year. The designation has brought additional resources to the area with the goal of rooting out the problem. Most prosecutions so far have involved individuals who target senior citizens-likely because of their use of medical services and particular vulnerabilities.
For example, Chicago’s Chalice Home Healthcare Services, Inc. was charged with illegally boosting their Medicare payments by falsifying documents. The group listed patients as homebound and in need of skilled assistance even though that wasn’t true. In another case, the owner of Chicago’s Cottage Grove Community Medical Clinic ordered unnecessary diagnostic tests for seniors to boost revenues.
Besides stealing millions from taxpayers that could be spent on more worthwhile care, the fraud also has consequences for seniors. Older adults are often harmed with they are given an incorrect medical diagnosis. They can suffer complications from unnecessary testing and when their medical records are marred by inaccuracies.
Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti know well the various ways in which con artists target senior citizens. For some of societies most morally bankrupt individuals, the particular vulnerabilities of older adults are viewed as opportunities to make money. Illinois nursing home abuse, is one example of that conduct in action. As this story demonstrates it is all prevalent in non-nursing home settings. All advocates should remain on guard for these problems.
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