Medicare is not supposed to be available to people living outside of the United States. Despite this, a Medicare provider billed millions to Medicare from your tax dollars for elderly living in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Nostrum Medical Center, a Florida-based Medicare provider, convinced people living internationally to provide addresses located in the United States so that the company could bill Medicare.
“Before the Nicaraguan scheme and a related one in the Dominican Republic were shut down last fall, the U.S. government paid out $25 million from 2011 to 2014 for medical care received by more than 1,000 foreign residents who signed up using post office boxes, mail-forwarding services, or the addresses of friends or relatives in Florida to conceal that they lived overseas,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Americans temporarily living overseas noticed the advertisements and tipped off U.S. Embassy officials. After an investigation was launched, it was found that recruiters would collect $300 commission per enrollee. Ten people involved in the operation have pleaded guilty thus far.
“Ten people, including a Managua physician and his son, have pleaded guilty in the swindle; one remains at large,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.