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The increased convenience of telemedicine visits during the Covid-19 pandemic is spurring calls among patients and doctors to permanently expand access across the U.S. But financial and privacy watchdogs are spreading a different message: Be careful what you wish for.

Just a year before the pandemic took hold, telemedicine was used to facilitate one of the biggest frauds in Medicare’s history, a $1.2 billion scheme to allegedly use telemedicine providers to prescribe braces and other medical equipment to beneficiaries who did not need them.

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