The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the sentencing of a Houston Psychiatrist for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme. The scheme allegedly involved false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for psychiatric services.
These services included admission of patients that suffered from severe Alzheimer’s or dementia. According to a news release by the DOJ, these patients were unable to benefit from the psychiatric services allegedly provided by the accused. As such, the government has accused the mental health professional of either failing to provide or fraudulently providing these services. If the government’s claim is successful, the physician stands to face charges for over $155 million in healthcare fraud.
DOJ pushes for serious penalties, judge agrees: Ultimately, the court agreed with the government’s claims. The court found the psychiatrist guilty of one criminal charge for a conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five additional charges for health care fraud.
The government pushed for harsh penalties to deter others from similar crimes. The judge sentenced the physician to over 12 years of prison time and required restitution payments of $20,607,410.22 to Medicare and an additional $2,250,789.69 to Medicaid.
DOJ continues to investigate claims of fraud, take allegations seriously: The DOJ’s Medicare Fraud Strike Force continues to head investigations into allegations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud like the one discussed above. This group is responsible for over 3,500 cases to date. As such, do not take notification of an investigation into allegations of healthcare fraud lightly. Protect your rights. Contact an attorney.