The Cuban Government and Multi-Million Dollar Medicare Fraud in South Florida Reply

The dilapidated state of the Cuban economy has left the Cuban government scrambling for ways to obtain hard currency. Cuba has contrived ways to benefit from leasing doctors, nurses, teachers, and security agents abroad; more recently, Cuba has also found ways to capitalize on large-scale Medicare fraud, possibly committing economic warfare on the United States.

Medicare fraud is one of the highest dollar volume crimes in the United States. In October of 2009, it was estimated that such fraud has reached $60 billion a year. (1) And South Florida has become the epicenter of this federal crime.

Federal authorities, in July of 2010 in conjunction with the first Healthcare Fraud Summit (taking place, rather symbolically, in Miami), led a crackdown in the 5 major U.S. cities that have the dubious recognition of being the largest Medicare fraud perpetrators: Miami, Brooklyn, Baton Rouge, Detroit, and Houston. Of the 94 people charged by authorities for fraud, 25 are from Miami-Dade. (2) Florida’s mental health claims are 4 times higher than Texas, where healthcare fraud is also substantial (Florida’s population is ¾ that of Texas’). Florida’s physical and speech therapy claims are 140 times higher than New York’s (while New York’s population has 1 million more people than Florida’s) and 10 times higher than in California (which has a population double the size of Florida’s). Ultimately, South Florida is responsible for one-third of the nation’s healthcare fraud prosecutions. (3)

The question should be posed: What makes South Florida different from any other region and can account for the troubling number of fraudulent claims emanating from the area?

See the entire assessment here:  http://ctp.iccas.miami.edu/FOCUS_Web/Issue137.htm

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