A Delaware County podiatrist was charged in the largest health care fraud takedown in history, the Department of Justice announced today.
Stephen A. Monaco, of Broommall, Pa., is charged in a $5 million scheme to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and four private victim insurance companies. The charging information alleges that Monaco committed fraud through his Havertown office, A Foot Above Podiatry.
The Department of Justice announced Monaco’s charges as part of the largest sweep led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in history, resulting in criminal and civil charges against 301 people, including 61 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who participated in health care fraud schemes. The sweep involved about $900 million in false billings.
It’s the largest takedown in history in terms of the number of defendants charged and amount of money lost. Medicaid Fraud Control Units from 23 states participated.
According to the information (below), Monaco submitted fraudulent claims for unprovided podiatric procedures filed between 2008 and 2014. The private insurance companies Monaco allegedly defrauded include Independence Blue Cross, Highmark Blue Cross, AETNA and Amerihealth.
A call to Monaco’s office revealed that he was not in today but was expected in tomorrow. The office seemed to be unaware of the charges.
“Government funded health care programs and private insurers continue to be negatively impacted by doctors who bill for unnecessary and non-performed medical services,” United States Attorney Zane David Memeger said in a press statement. “This office will continue to vigorously pursue those doctors who engage in such fraudulent and criminal practices in order to prevent those health care fraud costs from being passed on to the nation’s taxpayers.”
All cases announced today are being prosecuted and investigated by U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will suspend payment to a number of providers.
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