According to Pro Football Talk, 10 former NFL players including the well known Clinton Portis have been charged with defrauding a healthcare program for retired players. Here’s an excerpt from the report:
The charges were filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky this week allege that the retired players submitted fradulent claims for medical equipment costing between $40,000-50,000 to the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. They would fabricate prescriptions and invoices to support while recruiting others to make false claims in exchange for payments of up to $10,000.
“Ten former NFL players allegedly committed a brazen, multimillion dollar fraud on a health care plan meant to help their former teammates and other retired players pay legitimate, out-of-pocket medical expenses,” assistant attorney general Brian Benczkowski said, via the Washington Post. “Today’s indictments underscore that whoever you are, if you loot health care programs to line your own pockets, you will be held accountable by the Department of Justice.”
According to the indictment, the claims filed between June 2017 and December 2018 totaled $3.9 million and the health care plan paid out more than $3.4 million.
This isn’t a story we generally cover at Healthcare IT Today, but it was so unique that I thought it was worth a mention. Plus, the concepts of healthcare fraud and drug diversion are top of my mind this week after attending the ASHP conference in Las Vegas.
It’s hard to understand this story. Especially Clinton Portis who earned over 43 million in his career as an NFL player. Although, as we see with lottery winners and many reports on professional athletes, they don’t know how to manage their money very well. In 2015, it was reported that Clinton Portis filed for bankruptcy and was $5 million in debt.
Needless to say that there’s a lot more going on with this story than just some rich NFL players that were defrauding healthcare for $400k per person. Although, it is interesting that they chose healthcare as their target for their scheme. Healthcare is so expensive it’s easy to hide fraud.
The sad part of the story is that they’d fallen to the point where they wanted to commit healthcare fraud. Would be interesting to find out how they were caught. One of the promises for healthcare technology is the ability to better track things in healthcare and to detect fraud. Harder to hide things when it’s all tracked and can be analyzed later.