The message that the Medicare Strike Force wants to send to fraudsters everywhere is that they can expect to have their “open for business” sign flipped to “going out of business.” An article reported on Local10.com states that a former home health care company is now defunct after being a front for a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme.
The story states that the owner and operator of a Miami-based home health care agency paid kickbacks to patient recruiters for delivering qualified Medicare patients to the home health and physical therapy business. (As you can imagine, most of the services billed for were not medically necessary and in many cases, not provided.) Over nearly five years, the owner submitted approximately $6.5 million in bogus claims. (Unfortunately, Medicare paid out more than $6.1 million.)
The 64-year-old home health care company owner pleaded guilty on two counts. She will serve 75 months in prison and three years supervised release for her criminal acts. She also will have to pay back more than $6.5 million in restitution. (Good luck with getting that amount back.)
Because of this woman’s fraudulent activities, many Medicare beneficiaries have been deprived of deserved benefits. Congratulations to the Medicare Strike Force, who partners with other government agencies to increase accountability and decrease the number of fraudulent providers. It’s a sure bet that the doors of this illegal business are closed forever.