As regular readers of our Chicago criminal law blog know, the Department of Justice has for several years prioritized health care fraud. The DOJ recently announced that a federal grand jury has indicted three more doctors and three employees of a home health care agency on charges of health care fraud.
The FBI said its investigators have determined that the doctors received payments in exchange for referring Medicare patients to a California home health care agency.
Prosecutors allege that San Jose’s Medics Choice Home Health was paid $4.2 million by Medicare for the care and treatment of patients by the doctors. A news article reports that the doctors received between $250 to $700 in kickbacks for each referral, although sometimes the alleged kickbacks were paid out at a flat monthly rate of between $2,000 and $3,500.
The defendants face the possibility of prison sentences of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000.
According to a news report, an employee at the home health care agency was charged with a single count of obstruction of justice for allegedly threatening former employees who voluntarily sat down for interviews with the FBI.
The California case is the latest to rock the home health care industry. A Boston agency owner was sentenced to two to three years in prison for an illegal scheme that netted several million dollars from the Massachusetts Medicaid Program.
You might recall that about a year ago, several Chicago area doctors were charged with bilking Medicare of millions of dollars by filing false claims.
If you have been accused of health care fraud, speak to an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney before talking to prosecutors or law enforcement.