The USA is under the major threat of COVID fraud that has become a harsh reality for 2020 and 2021. Where there are instances of paid medical care, there is a surge of fraud. Today, the practices of detection, testing, treatment, and vaccination have come alive and are the reality of the 21st century. The cases of fraud have matched the rise of prevention and disease with these scams and misdeeds not being a pretty sight at all.
John LeBlanc of Manatt and the adverse effect of COVID Fraud on the nation
John LeBlanc is a leading healthcare law expert and based in Manatt’s Los Angeles office. He has over 28 years of valuable experience focusing on litigation and regulatory matters affecting managed care and the health insurance industries. He represents several of America’s leading insurers and health plans that include California’s biggest not-for-profit health care service plan. He represents some of the major trade associations in the health insurance industry in the nation as well.
John LeBlanc of Manatt says that as efforts for vaccinating citizens in the nation continue, both the state and federal law enforcement agencies are working hard to investigate and prosecute offenders involved in COVID healthcare fraud.
Misappropriation of Funds from the Provider Relief Fund
He points out one of the biggest medical scams in the nation- the CARES Act, also known as the Provider Relief Fund. He adds, “A likely target of increased governmental focus are those who received funds from the Fund,” and says, “The funds are…distributed by grants or other payment mechanisms to eligible health care providers to reimburse them for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenues attributable to COVID-19. But all health care providers retaining payments from the Provider Relief Fund must certify that the funds will be used for only these purposes and must attest to the terms and conditions associated with the payments and any other relevant statutes and regulations.”
The first indictment in the USA
Last February, the Department of Justice indicted the first individual in the country of misappropriating money from the Fund, charging a woman from Michigan with the embezzlement of government property. He says, “The indictment alleges that the woman had previously owned a home health care facility that closed in early 2020 after Medicare demanded the return of more than $1 million in overpayments.”
He says, “The facility submitted claims for patients who did not qualify for home health services.According to the indictment, the provider was never operational during the pandemic, yet it received over $37,500 from the Provider Relief Fund—funds that were then given to family members for personal use.”
Wrapping things up
John LeBlanc of Manatt says the hesitancy of vaccination and the possibility of vaccine mandates in the work, education, and travel have led to the generation schemes for the manufacturing as well as distribution of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards and schemes that might result in prosecutions.