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Prosecutors in MI charged six doctors for their alleged role in billing for unnecessary prescription painkillers and charging Medicare $164 million for medically unnecessary drug tests and other procedures. "They seem oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their greed".

In what federal officials Thursday called the "largest ever health care fraud enforcement action" by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, 412 individuals, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were arrested in a nationwide operation that involved more than 1,000 law enforcement agents in at least 30 states.

In his January confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department, the former Republican senator, 70, failed to disclose meetings he held with Russian officials. As part of the takedown, 295 people were served exclusion notices by OIG related to opioid abuse and diversion, preventing them from submitting claims to federal healthcare programs.

He said almost 300 healthcare providers are being suspended or banned from participating in federal healthcare programmes.

"As you all know, we have a multi-front battle in front of us right now: an increase in violent crime, vicious gangs, an opioid epidemic, threats from terrorism and human traffickers", Sessions said in a speech in Las Vegas.

In one case in Florida, the owner of an addiction-treatment center recruited patients to bill insurance companies for fraudulent treatment and offered them kickbacks in the form of gift cards, free airline travel and trips to casinos and strip clubs, according to the Justice Department.

Opioids, including prescription pain killers and heroin, killed more than 33,000 people in the U.S.in 2015.

The only question not redacted was Sessions' answer of "no" for the question, "have you or any member of your immediate family in the past seven years had any contact with a foreign government, its establishment or its representatives, whether inside or outside the United States?" Sessions said federal investigators "believe there are a lot more cases that need to be brought" and that the medical community needs to continue efforts to reduce the amount of opioid prescribing in the country.


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