Corporate Compliance

Nurse pleads guilty in $25 million healthcare fraud scheme

Compliance Monitor, September 7, 2011

A Miami-area registered nurse admitted August 31 that she participated in a $25 million Medicare fraud scheme involving false billings for home health services, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Farah Maria Perez, 40, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard in Miami to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. She was originally charged in February. Working for Florida Home Health Care Providers Inc., a Miami home health care agency, Perez billed Medicare for expensive physical therapy and home healthcare services that were medically unnecessary and/or never provided, according to court documents.

For three years beginning in January 2006, Perez and co-defendant nurses falsified patient files for Medicare beneficiaries to make it appear that they qualified for home healthcare and therapy services from Florida Home Health.

Perez admitted that she knew the files were falsified so that Florida Home Health could bill Medicare program for medically unnecessary therapy and home health related services.

Read the full report on the Department of Justice website.


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