A woman in Lawrenceville, Ga., stands accused of being a part of a coronavirus scheme involving the elderly. (Not all is peachy in Georgia at the moment.) Ashley Hoobler Parris and other alleged fraudsters are accused of participating in this Medicare scam with the hopes of receiving reimbursements for COVID-19 testing that never occurred.
Parris and others allegedly obtained cheek swabs from unsuspecting senior citizens and sent them out for coronavirus and other genetic testing. By sending them to labs that would bill Medicare, they later received reimbursement checks. A standard coronavirus testing reimbursement check is valued at about $100. When coronavirus testing is paired with respiratory pathogen panels, reimbursements can go as high as $500. (Still seems like a low price to sell your soul for.)
The Health and Human Services Inspector General fears that there will be an increase in coronavirus related attempts to defraud Medicare. This is due to the fact reimbursement claims for respiratory pathogen panels have risen 41% from January through April, compared to last year’s numbers. Approximately $28 million has been made in processed reimbursement payments during this period. (One must now wonder how many claims were legitimate or not.)
While Parris has been arrested, this Medicare fraud is only the latest in a string of scams targeting the elderly. Last year, the Department of Justice aided in taking down a $2.1 billion Medicare scam that took advantage of the elderly by convincing them to opt in for unnecessary genetic cancer testing. (These scams thrive by exploiting the fears of the elderly.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Georgia woman arrested over U.S. Medicare fraud on coronavirus testing,” posted on WHTC.com on May 15, 2020.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Georgia woman was arrested on Friday for allegedly bilking Medicare – the U.S. health insurance program for Americans over age 65 and the disabled – by submitting fraudulent claims related to coronavirus testing and genetic cancer tests, the U.S. Justice Department said.
The case against Ashley Hoobler Parris, 32, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, marks one of the first Medicare fraud cases in connection with billings for COVID-19, the sometimes deadly illness caused by the novel coronavirus.