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It’s been a while my dearest readers. As is our custom when returning from hiatus, let’s begin with the normal ending segment…
FARRIS’S FANTASTIC FRAUD FOLLIES– And now for everybody’s favorite paragraph. Let’s start the ticker and see who wins this week’s award. Maria Navarro and Judith Bench of Orlando are charged with using their special needs school to bill 21,000 bogus Medicaid therapy claims. They billed for 8 hours a day but only had staff to provide 2. Taxpayer tab – $4.5M. Pedro Garcia of Mission, TX was charged this week with submitting Medicaid claims for dead people – to the tune of $300k. John Holland of Miami was CEO of Portneuf Medical Center when he (allegedly) took bribes that facilitated $12M of Medicaid fraud. He plead not guilty this week. Michael Johnston of Broadheadsville, PA got sentenced for pilfering $100k from Medicaid using bogus mental health services claims. Mr. Johnston took the cash and used it cover trips to Jamaica. Stephen Monaco (awesome name), a podiatrist from Haverton, PA was sentenced this week for stealing $4.9M from Medicaid, Medicare and other payers. Dr. Monaco would barter opioids with patients in exchange for them letting him shoot painful (but unnecessary) injections into their feet. Eduard Zavalunov of NYC became the 9th fraudster to plead guilty in a multi-clinic racket that bribed Medicare and Medicaid bennies (with cash) to undergo unnecessary tests. Taxpayer tab – $70M. Shalonda Suggs of Oklahoma City pled guilty this week to a $200k mental health services not provided scheme. Julia Faigel of Boston, MA was ordered to pay $475k for Medicaid dental fraud. She had TWENTY ONE corporations she used to rob the taxpayers. Robert Windsor of Cumming, GA pled guilty this week of bilking GA Medicaid, KY Medicaid, Tricare and FEHBP (the healthcare federal employees get) for more than $20M. His gig? Medically unnecessary balance tests, electromyography (whatever the heck that is) and qualitative drug screens. IPC – a hospital staffing firm that provides doc labor, also goes by Team Health if you are googling for it- will cough up $60M for defrauding Medicaid and Medicare via upcoding. Dr. Oughatiyan was the whistleblower and he will get $11.4M. Bernard Greenspan of Newark, NJ got $200k in bribes for his role in a $200M fraud scheme. He’s pleading innocent (he’s also 80 years old), but 2 dozen other docs have pled out on this scheme which involved Biodiagnostic Lab Services bribing docs for referalls to Medicare and Medicaid. And now, drum roll (we have a lot of contestants this week!)… Mr. Windsor you win this week’s award for your tenacity and not settling for ripping off just one Medicaid program. Indeed – stealing from both GA and KY sets you apart. I hope you stashed some cigarette money someplace, so you can barter in the slammer.
Sadly, I was able to fill an entire Roundup with fraud follies (with a total of about $384M stolen by my rough count). I could do this each and every week (but that would be boring). And I left out several big ones this week, too. Nothing to see here, move along. Regardless of whether we repeal, replace or repair there will always be this wonderful gravy train for fraudsters. As I pay my taxes in the next month or so, I know that makes me feel good. How about you?
That’s it for this week. As always, please send me a note with your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a buzz at 919.727.9231. Get outside (I swear we never have winter anymore here in AL. Must be global warming, or maybe the Russians?) and keep running the race (you know who you are).
FULL, FREE newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ep81Y . News that didn’t make it and sources for those that did: twitter @mostlymedicaid . Trystero: Papa a voye Pitit la pou konsève pou mond lan