Corporate Compliance

Eight indicted in $1.1 million home healthcare scheme

Compliance Monitor, December 31, 2008

A federal grand jury in Detroit indicted eight owners and employees of several Michigan home healthcare agencies on charges of participating in a scheme to solicit and pay kickbacks in exchange for patients, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.
 
The DOJ said Rebecca Sharp led the scheme. Sharp allegedly obtained potential home health patients by instructing her staff at Continuing Senior Care Co, Inc. and Marketing & Assessment to call senior citizens and offer medical services and chore workers. Staff told the patients they received their names from Medicare and then collected the patients’ Medicare information. A doctor employed by Sharp then visited the patient, prescribing home healthcare even if it was unnecessary. Sharp then referred the individuals to home healthcare agencies in exchange for a $250 fee.
 
In the indictment, Sharp claimed she could refer 80 patient names and Medicare numbers per week to a home healthcare agency. The scheme resulted in over $1.1 million in kickbacks.

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