Illinois Jury Indicts Three with AIDS Drug Fraud Against Blue Cross, State
A Cook County, Ill., jury on Monday indicted three people on 11 counts of "conspiring to submit fraudulent claims" to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and the state-subsidized Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan for the reimbursement of more than $500,000 worth of unused AIDS drugs, the Associated Press reports. Prosecutors say that Elizabeth Weinberg, a Blue Cross manager who oversaw the state-subsidized plan for high-risk individuals, authorized payment for the AIDS drugs despite warnings from her employees that the invoices were "irregular and needed to be investigated." According to the indictment, Timothy Staggs and Kevin Molloy altered receipts from Chicago pharmacies to be reimbursed for AIDS medicines never purchased, or returned the drugs for credit after the insurer already had reimbursed them, and then delivered their claims directly to Weinberg. The Financial Crimes Unit of the Illinois Attorney General's Office investigated the 1996-1999 scheme after an internal Blue Cross investigation. The three defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in Cook County Circuit Court on Aug. 10 (Associated Press, 7/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.