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Florida clinics
investigated for HIV Medicare fraud

Florida clinics
investigated for HIV Medicare fraud

Several storefront health clinics in Broward County, Fla., are under investigation for allegedly paying HIV-positive people to undergo expensive tests and treatment so the clinics can fraudulently bill Medicare for the services, TheMiami Herald reports. The FBI, the Florida health department, and local police are participating in the investigation.

Some AIDS activists have claimed that clinic recruiters travel to homeless shelters and drug treatment programs in the Fort Lauderdale area looking for HIV-positive people who are disabled or otherwise eligible for Medicare, then offer them $100 to $300 to undergo unnecessary HIV-related treatments, for which Medicare reimburses the clinics.

According to the Herald, Medicare became aware of the situation in 2003 and has since suspended reimbursements to more than 24 health care providers and has blocked a total of $214.5 million in Medicare claims. Three people at a Little Havana clinic in Miami-Dade County have been arrested so far as a result of the investigation, law enforcement officials report.

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