Corporate Compliance

Home healthcare patient recruiter convicted for distributing and receiving kickbacks

Compliance Monitor, September 2, 2010

A federal jury in Miami convicted a patient recruiter of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and three counts of soliciting and receiving kickbacks and bribes, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.

Antonio Ochoa worked as a patient recruiter for ABC Home Health Inc. and Florida Home Health Care Providers Inc. (FHH), purported physical therapy and home health service providers. Ochoa solicited and received thousands of dollars in kickbacks and bribes in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to ABC and FHH, according to the DOJ.

Ochoa received $1,300 for each Medicare beneficiary he recruited for ABC and FHH. Evidence at trial established that ABC and FHH billed Medicare for medically unnecessary services, or services never provided. Ochoa faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud count, and five years in prison to each of the three kickback counts.

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