A former Miami-area hospital director pled guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States, and engaging in health care kickbacks as part of a $1 billion health care fraud scheme. Odette Barcha admitted to paying kickbacks to physicians to refer patients to the hospitals, and also had physicians discharge patients from the hospital to assisted-living facilities that were owned by co-conspirator Arnold Carmouze. To read more, click here.
The Department of Justice announced that Walgreens has agreed to pay $3.5 million to the United States and the State of Wisconsin to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act. Walgreens knowingly submitted claims to Medicaid for stimulant medications without complying with Medicaid rules designed to ensure that stimulants are dispensed for appropriate medical treatment. The investigation resulted from whistleblower lawsuits. We wrote about a separate case also involving Walgreens and the False Claims Act, which resulted in a $269 million settlement. To read more about that case, click here.
A former pharmacist owner, Steven Gibson, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for engaging in a scheme to defraud federal health care benefit programs. From 2016 to 2018, Gibson submitted nearly 1,000 claims for “make believe” prescriptions under the names of his wife, his family members and his pharmacy customers. Gibson’s total take from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies exceeded $600,000- money he now has been ordered to pay back in restitution. To read more from the Department of Justice press release, click here.
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