On April 14, Dr. Glen R. Justice pleaded guilty to five counts of healthcare fraud. In addition to upcoding insurance claims, Justice submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and other insurers for cancer medications that were never given to patients. (United States v. Justice)
Justice admitted that his scheme took place between 2004 and 2009 and that he had collected payments totalling up to $1 million.
The number of reports of practitioners bilking Medicare and Medicaid continues to grow. This is especially disconcerting in the midst of health reform, since these fraudulent payments are taking up funds that can be used to provide real coverage and care to patients. These fraud cases only highlight the need for better regulation of these programs and safeguards for catching practitioners in the act of fraudulent billing.