On Tuesday, a jury found Iruke, his wife and an employee who worked for the couple guilty of healthcare fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud in a scheme that involved more than $14 million in illegitimate Medicare claims.
Authorities said Iruke and associates often supplied power wheelchairs to Medicare patients perfectly capable of walking on their own —including one who did jumping jacks to show agents he never needed one. Also among the patients Iruke and his associates filed reimbursement claims for were two people who were deceased, according to court papers.
fter purchasing the wheelchairs at about $900 wholesale and paying for the prescriptions, he pocketed the remainder of about $6,000 in taxpayer money he received as Medicare reimbursements, according to court documents. The pastor operated four medical equipment supply companies between May 2002 and September 2009 as part of the scheme, according to authorities.
A few things to pull out of this. First, how easy it was for these guys to defraud Medicare. Their fraud was so simple and straight-forward but it took the government seven years to spot it. The Feds are boasting about finding $2.3 billion in Fraud with their new strike force. But it’s clearly this is the low-hanging fruit of a crime spree that amounts to tens of billions. Notice also how efficient Medicare is. Surgeons haven’t had price increase in 30 years. But Medicare is shelling out six times the going price for a wheelchair.
This is just another illustration of how dysfunctional the liberal model for healthcare is. As I have argued here and Reason argues here, Medicare isn’t efficient, even if you ignore the massive fraud they tolerate. When you include it, Medicare becomes a boondoggle of epic proportions.