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Consumer Alert: Fraud Schemes Targeting Native American Communities in Behavioral Health Treatment Centers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) is alerting the public about fraudulent activities aimed at members of Native American communities in relation to behavioral health outpatient treatment centers (OTCs).

These schemes involve scammers who specifically target vulnerable Native Americans by establishing phony sober living homes that claim to provide addiction treatment and support. However, these homes are actually fronts for illegal activities, posing a significant risk to individuals seeking help. In addition, Native Americans are falling victim to schemes involving trafficking and healthcare fraud. Perpetrators masquerade as healthcare providers, offering fake medical services or treatments, while simultaneously stealing personal information and medical identities. They then fraudulently bill for services that were never provided.

Another method employed by these schemes involves the recruitment of Native Americans by employees of OTCs, often working for fraudulent providers, outside of Native American reservations. These employees/recruiters entice prospects by offering inducements, such as food, cash incentives, money for rent, and other gifts. After undergoing an intake process with a licensed Behavioral Health Professional (BHP) specializing in substance abuse counseling, the suspect company bills Medicaid for services that do not align with the actual time spent.

It is crucial to remain vigilant and protect yourself from these deceptive schemes. If you have any information regarding the fraud scheme described above, please contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General at:

Web site: TIPS.HHS.GOV

Mail: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Inspector General
P.O. Box 23489
Washington, DC 20026

Phone: 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477)
Fax: 1-800-223-8164
TTY: 1-800-377-4950

Last updated May 16, 2023