Two physicians, within fifty miles of one another, have recently been given a prison sentence for cheating welfare patients.
Bret Ostrager was sentenced to 37 months in prison after accepting illegal payments from a company wanting his patients' blood work. The New York physician received more than $100,000 in illegal payments.
In New Jersey, another physician is now behind bars for accepting kickbacks. Paresh Patel accepted payment for his property taxes and home remodeling bills from a lab for his patients' diagnostic information. He was sentenced to one year in prison.
According to NewJersey.com, there is no proof that doctors are committing fraud more these days. However, Louis Saccoccio, the chief executive officer of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, claims that out of the $3 trillion spent on health care, tens of billions of those dollars were most likely fraudulent.
Fraud is not only harmful to taxpayers, but it also has negative effects on the market.
Saccocci tells NewJersey.com that, "The best way to keep such abuses down is for officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to screen physicians and their practices before they become approved for payment."