Photo: Alex Proimos (Flickr)
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Thursday his office contributed to a major nationwide investigation into healthcare fraud.
In Indiana, seven federal criminal investigations uncovered more than $1 million in Medicaid fraud, leading to the indictment of 15 individuals and two companies on various charges.
Among those indicted are two Evansville chiropractors, who are accused of money laundering through distributing controlled substances using signed blank prescription pads.
Also indicted is Dr. Ronald Sheppard of Fishers, who authorities say encouraged other chiropractors to refer patients to certain pharmacies for which he received kickbacks.
Indiana Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Director Matt Whitmire says this take-down doesn’t necessarily mean healthcare fraud is on the rise.
“I think our vigilance has increased,” he says. “We do more data work to find bad billing. We work with the state agencies better in finding the fraud.”
The fraud uncovered in Indiana includes transportation billing for trips that never happened, money laundering and illegal opioid prescribing.
The U.S. Department of Justice reported taking down $1.3 billion dollars in opioid scams nationwide. Whitmire says that the number of opioid cases surprised him.
“This opioid crisis is not just a local problem; it’s a national problem affecting everybody,” Whitmire says.
This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health. The Associated Press contributed to this report.