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Home agency, chiropractor, physician accused of Medicare fraud

By Jennifer Bresnick

A home healthcare agency, a chiropractor and his personal trainer wife, and a physician accused of issuing false prescriptions are among this month’s crop of convicted Medicare fraudsters caught for bilking the agency out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Fitness instructor and chiropractor bill for $1 million in fake services

Wendy Carr encouraged strenuous workouts at her fitness center so that her clients would go next door to husband Andrew Carr’s chiropractic practice to seek a billable adjustment, Chicago prosecutors said before the couple were sentenced to jail.  The team collected a million dollars in unnecessarily expensive and fraudulent Medicare payments – even using a false name to continue the scam after a federal indictment – that ended with eight years in jail for mastermind Andrew and 28 months for his wife.

Home health agency rakes in $6.25 million for unnecessary services

Annarella Garcia of Hialeah, Florida, pled guilty to swindling more than six million from Medicare for medically unnecessary physical therapy and home health care for ineligible patients, according to the FBI.  The co-owner of Professional Medical Home Health and her associates paid bribes and kickbacks to patient recruiters and falsified patient documentation to make it appear as if the services were qualified.  Garcia will serve 70 months in prison and must repay $6.2 million in restitution.

Physician writes pain killer prescriptions for undercover agent he didn’t even examine

Sathish Narayanappa Babu may be spending up to 71 months in jail for writing prescriptions for pain relievers and tranquilizers to patients he hadn’t examined, federal prosecutors say, including an undercover agent posing as a Medicare beneficiary.  Babu also allowed unlicensed staff members to use his Drug Enforcement Administration registration number to visit the agent at his home and write their own prescriptions for the patient, charging Medicare for about half a million dollars in medications, medical tests, and other services.  Babu received around $216,000 from Medicare, and has been required to forfeit $126,000 in cash and three luxury cars after his arrest.

Nursing home mistreats patients, doubles medication doses, bills for false services

The owners of two California nursing homes are being sued by federal prosecutors for chronic mistreatment and abuse of their patients.  The suit alleges that the facilities brought in more than $20 million in Medicare and Medicaid payments for “grossly inadequate, materially substandard, or worthless services” including doubled doses of anxiety medications, pain killers, and other dangerous drugs for elderly and infirm patients without consulting with physicians or family members.

Intoxicated urologist indicted for patient referral scams

A 74-year-old urologist accused of chronic alcoholism has been sentenced to six months in prison for his role in a series of kickback scams.  Dr. Subir Maitra received $68,000 in monthly payments from a hospital CEO for referring patients to the facility.  Ten hospital administrators have pled not guilty to the scheme and are awaiting their trials.  Maitra also plead guilty in a separate case to fraudulently billing for patients undergoing questionable surgery for urology conditions.

 
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