CHICAGO — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago is creating a new unit to prosecute health care fraud.

Joel Levin is the acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He says the unit will prosecute people ranging from providers who participate in fraudulent billing schemes to doctors who falsify a patient’s diagnosis so they can be paid for costly procedures or tests the patient doesn’t need.

Levin says Medicare and private insurers lose millions of dollars to fraud each year. He says patients also are exploited as they undergo unsafe or unnecessary medical procedures.

Levin says “health care providers who cheat the system must be held accountable.”

Five prosecutors are assigned to the unit.

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