On Friday, as informed by the U.S. Justice Department, a Georgia woman was arrested for allegedly defrauding Medicare by submitting fake claims about coronavirus testing and genetic cancer tests. Medicare is a U.S. health insurance program for senior Americans of age above 65 and the disabled.
The accused is named Ashley Hoobler Parris, 32, of Lawrenceville, Georgia. This is one of the first Medicare fraud cases related to billings for COVID-19, the deadly pandemic that took thousands of lives worldwide.
This case comes next to the major takedown by the Justice Department and the Health and Human Services Department Office of the Inspector General last fall involving a $2.1 billion Medicare fraud scam that involved marketing company executives, telemedicine companies and labs that allegedly tricked senior citizens of the country into providing their DNA for some futile genetic cancer tests.
As a result, a few labs and marketers have expanded from being genetic cancer screening centers to offering tests for COVID-19.
For coronavirus tests, the Medicare reimbursement is around $100. However, some labs and marketers have been trying to increase the reimbursement by bundling it with respiratory pathogen panels (RPP), which test other respiratory illnesses and pay out approximately $500.