Medicare targets home healthcare fraud in diabetes treatments

Medicare was billed about $75,000 last year by a company that claims it sent a nurse twice a day to a Westchester group home to inject an elderly diabetic with insulin.

Except that 92-year-old Maria C. Perez isn't diabetic. She says so. Her son says so. Her family doctor says so, and her medical records confirm it.

''I've never been diabetic,'' Perez softly declares. "I've never had any of those problems.''

Medicare suspects that taxpayers are footing the bill for thousands of homebound patients like Perez to receive unnecessary diabetic treatments — unnecessary because the patient either doesn't have the disease or doesn't need a visiting nurse to inject the insulin.

It's ''easy prey — fast money,'' said Perez's son, Rolando, a Coral Gables businessman who complained to Medicare for months about his mother's suspicious bills. "It's like a giant ATM machine and [the homecare operators] got the passwords, because the amount of money inside the ATM is unlimited.''

Read the complete story at