health cost fraud article

This is for real: a Web site from the Health and Human Services Department showing the most wanted fugitives committing Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

For example: “Carlos, Luis, and Jose Benitez, commonly referred to as the Benitez brothers, allegedly schemed to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, pocketing approximately $110 million from Medicare, according to a Federal indictment. The Benitez brothers owned and directed a string of medical clinics in the Miami area, purportedly providing infusion treatments to HIV-infected Medicare beneficiaries. But the medication the brothers provided to patients either was allegedly medically unnecessary or was never actually administered.”

Or: “Along with her co-conspirators, Susan Bendigo, who was born in the Philippines, is accused in a Federal indictment of billing Medi‑Cal, California’s Medicaid program, for $17.1 million, collecting $10 million, about half of which came from the claims she submitted for services she provided with unlicensed staff. A registered nurse, Bendigo was director of nursing for a company that provided nurses for home health agencies. Investigators say that from May 2004 through May 2007, she sent unlicensed nurses to treat patients under Medi‑Cal, even though she knew that Medi‑Cal required licensed nurses to perform the work.”

The cases seem appalling, and well-documented, and it’s pretty amazing that these people got away with what they’re accused of getting away with. We can’t get $23.40 out of the insurance company when it’s rightfully owed to us.



Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...