In news from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged 111 individuals with participating in a Medicare fraud scheme. Based on information provided in yesterday's DOJ and HHS news releases, those charged included several health care professionals from a variety of professions, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and others. As noted in the news releases, "[a]n indictment is merely a charge and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty." However, news of physical therapy services being part of a Medicare fraud scheme is deeply troubling to APTA.
While the association is not familiar with and cannot comment on the specific charges against the individuals cited in the lawsuits, APTA disapproves of the type of behavior alleged. APTA promotes only the highest standards of practice to its members. It is important that individuals receive physical therapy services that are of high quality and medically necessary, furnished by licensed physical therapists or physical therapist assistants under the direct supervision of a physical therapist. APTA stands ready to work with the DOJ and HHS, if necessary, to bring an end to fraudulent activity within the health care system.
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