Medicare Dollars: Easy Money for Scammers

It’s good to see that law enforcement agencies in the United States are finally doing something about the Medicare fraud epidemic that is pushing the country into bankruptcy. But this should be only a start. Much more needs to be done to get these scam artists behind bars where they belong.

Here are some recent examples:

  • The owner/operator of a Miami, Florida, home health care company was sentenced to 75 months in prison for participating in a $6.5 million Medicare fraud scheme. Cruz Sonia Collado, 64, of Homestead, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to offer and pay health care kickbacks, to defraud the United States, and to paying health care kickbacks. In addition to prison time, Collado got three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $6,536,657 in restitution.
  • A Los Angeles County physician whose referrals led to more than $1.7 million in fraudulent Medicare billing pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud Medicare by writing prescriptions for unneeded durable medical equipment, such as power wheelchairs. Charles Okoye, a 52-year-old Carson, California, resident, admitted that he wrote prescriptions for medically unnecessary equipment for patients referred to him.
  • A criminal charge of health care fraud has have been filed against Ronald McAdams of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. McAdams, age 57, is charged with health care fraud based on submitting false claims to the Pennsylvania Attendant Care Medicaid Waiver Program. The Information alleges McAdams billed for and received reimbursement for attendant care services that were never performed.
  • Daniel K. Lane Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud by filing fraudulent claims with Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and other insurers. Lane is the vice president and chief financial officer for Compass Healthcare Inc., a durable medical equipment business headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, with offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and other cities. Lane’s position included billing insurance companies for the compression stockings that Compass Healthcare provided to individuals who were covered by insurance. The company would routinely “upcode” the claims it submitted to insurers for the stockings.

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