25 from Illinois charged in federal health care fraud sweep

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CHICAGO (AP) – Doctors, nurses and a Medicaid recipient are among the 25 Illinois residents facing federal criminal charges as part of a nationwide health care fraud sweep that ensnared nearly 250 people.

The defendants include a Chicago dermatologist accused of fraudulent billing and seven employees of area home health care companies.

The federal government imposed a first-of-its-kind moratorium on enrollment of new home health providers in metropolitan Chicago in 2013.

Eleven of the 12 people charged in southern Illinois worked as personal care assistants to Medicaid recipients. One is accused of submitting phony bills for services reportedly provided while in Costa Rica.

Federal authorities announced the crackdown results Thursday as part of a cross-country dragnet involving allegedly fraudulent billings of Medicare and Medicaid totaling more than $700 million.

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