Operation Brace Yourself: Understanding the DME Scam

DME or Durable Medical Equipment is equipment required by an individual as preventive or curative measures to fight against specific physical ailments. Different braces, blood sugar monitors, crutches are examples of DME. These equipment are covered under Medicare or Medicaid as well as several PPO insurances in the USA. Operation Brace Yourself was a joint initiative f Medicare and FBI to stop the nationwide scam which was going on in the United States worth billions of dollars.

Durable Medical Equipment

How the DME Scam Worked

To put it simply, the braces manufacturers had tied up with several doctors throughout the USA and had bribed them to prescribe false braces for patients. Then these manufacturers employed call centers specifically in the Philippines and Egypt amongst other countries and got their agents to call up residents of the USA and get their medicare Part B data. Then they would get these doctors to write false prescriptions for different braces and then bill Medicare for the same. Thus braces were being sent to people who did not need them and the real needy were not getting the same. Medicare went on paying Billions of dollars for these braces which were falsely prescribed. The doctors and the manufacturers made huge money from these deals and the scam ran to billions of dollars which were primarily paid by Medicare.

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Operation Brace Yourself

Operation Brace Yourself

In April 2019, the Federal Bureau along with Medicare started raiding various manufacturers and Doctors. They unearthed this billion-dollar scam and arrested more than two dozen people which included doctors as well as manufacturers. They named this Operation brace yourself and realized that several elderly people were been given braces which they did not require and they were billing the same to Medicare. The doctors were being bribed to write these prescriptions and the doctors were doing so without consulting or examining the patients. The doctors were talking to the patient once over the telephone and sometimes not even that was being done.

As a result, a lot of private information was being used by these different organizations and the Medicare data was getting compromised. Medicare was billed thousands of dollar per case for braces which were not required by patients. Operation Brace Yourself effectively put an end to this racket throughout the country.

Aftermath

After the arrests were made, most of these manufacturing companies stopped their sales operations. A lot of call centers around the world which were being used as the front end to generate these sales were sent out of operations. Cases were slapped against the accused and the justice procedure has started. Roderic Bain, one of the accused, who is the CEO of a Georgia based DME firm has been sentenced to more than 40 months of imprisonment along with other fines for the same.  Others are also awaiting a similar fate.

The greed of a few people created such a massive scam which not only created a huge loss for Medicare but also misused funds paid by common citizens as well as compromised on Medicare data for elderly people. It is indeed great news that such a devious scam has been put to an end.

I hope you liked this informative article regarding one of the biggest scams of the decade and how Operation brace yourself put an end to the scam. Do post a comment below and let me know what you felt regarding this article and also let me know if you want to more about any specific scam.

In case you want to report a scam you can visit this page and do so. I will try to find all the details on the same and get back to you.

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