Federal officials filed charges in the largest health care fraud scam in the nation’s history, indicting a Dallas-area physician for purportedly bilking Medicare of $375 million after he reportedly sent out “recruiters” to round up patients and get them to sign for treatments he never provided. The Medicare billings piled up by Dr. Jacques Roy grew so large over five years that experts wondered why it took prosecutors so long to notice.
“To get that kind of money, you’d need to be treating a million people,” said Andrew Selesnick, a Los Angeles lawyer who represents physicians. “You’d have to have 30 locations and tons of people going through them.” The arrest of the Canadian-born doctor, a physician for nearly 30 years, comes at a time when health care fraud is sharply increasing, with fewer people able to afford doctor visits and Medicare and other government programs paying less in reimbursements. That phenomenon has more health care providers cutting corners, with more doctors and clinicians looking for new ways to pay off expensive student loans and medical equipment, or just keep afloat in an industry burdened with high insurance and other costs.