Suppose one examines closely the instances of fraud surge when there is paid medical care. This is evident in the age of the 21st Century, where COVID-19 is reigning the world today. There has been an increase in testing, treatment, and vaccination where all of them have come alive suddenly along with the coronavirus. According to John LeBlanc, a nationally reputed healthcare lawyer with the law firm Manatt LLP, the fraud cases have matched the increase of both the prevention and the disease. These misdeeds and scams are obviously not a pretty sight in the country today.
John LeBlanc of Manatt is currently based in the Los Angeles office of Manatt and has over 28 years of valuable experience in the field of litigation and regulatory matters that affect the managed care and health insurance industries. He has represented several of the country’s leading health plans and insurers, that includes the biggest not-for-profit health care service plan in California. He represents some of the major health insurance trade associations as well.
John LeBlanc of Manatt- how serious is the problem in the USA?
He points out to a US Acting Assistant Attorney General who has said in March that anyone is thinking about using the global pandemic as an opportunity to scam and steal from hardworking Americans. His advice was simple- don’t.
The problem of counterfeit vaccines, vaccination records, and medical supplies
There are now reports of people being found guilty of peddling medical supplies that are counterfeited in nature. He says this is indeed a very bad development, especially at such a time when health concerns prevail in the nation about vaccination and treatment. Infections are at a “high,” and he says, “Internationally, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines have already been identified, and this practice may worsen as the vaccination rollout continues,” and adds, “In April, Pfizer Inc. identified the first confirmed instances of counterfeit versions of its vaccine in Mexico and Poland. As businesses make return-to-work plans and schools welcome back students, knowing how to spot counterfeit medical supplies may prove critical so that only authentic medical supplies are used to combat the spread of COVID-19.”
He says vaccine hesitancy and the possibility of vaccination mandates in work, travel, and education have led to the generation of schemes to manufacture and distribute these counterfeited COVID-19 vaccination cards – schemes that will result in prosecutions.
John LeBlanc of Manatt says this is not the end. There are reports of counterfeit medical supplies and equipment in the nation as well. He adds some medical hardware has been implicated too. He says, “The CDC…issued guidance to help consumers spot counterfeit respirators, noting that a respirator may be counterfeit if no markings are designating the respirator as a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)- approved device,” and adds. “The CDC also noted that when buying medical supplies from third-party marketplaces or unfamiliar websites, buyers should watch out for warning signs like a listing claim that the medical product is ‘legitimate’ or ‘genuine,’ and whether the seller seems to market trendier items rather than consistent items over a longer period of time.”