Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Judicial Investigation Police raid hospital in Social Security System fraud probe

June 11, 2014

Prosecutors from Costa Rica’s Fraud Tribunal on Tuesday conducted three raids to gather evidence in a fraud investigation at Calderón Guardia Hospital in the capital.

Judicial Investigation Police agents simultaneously raided the hospital, the main offices of the Social Security System, or Caja, and the offices of medical supply company Synthes. Investigators suspect the company may have fraudulently billed the Caja for $2.3 million in medical supplies. The alleged scheme included billing for 2,022 orthopedic devices used on Calderón Guardia patients from 2010-2011.

According to a prosecutor’s report, alleged irregularities include surgeries performed on dead or nonexistent patients and the use of orthopedic devices in procedures that don’t require them, such as gynecological surgeries.

Caja financial officials spotted the irregularities in the billing, and ordered that payments to Synthes be stopped. That led to the ongoing fraud investigation, prosecutors said. The investigation began last year and targets at least three people, whose names were not disclosed.

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