Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Florida Health Fraud Uncovered

A federal jury in Miami late yesterday convicted the former medical director of, and three therapists employed by this health care provider of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and related charges for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently bill Medicare and Florida Medicaid more than $63 million.

Roger Rousseau, 73, of Miami; Doris Crabtree, 62, of Miami; Angela Salafia, 68, of Miami Beach, Florida; and Liliana Marks, 48, of Homestead, Florida, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  In addition, Rousseau was convicted of two counts of health care fraud.  Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 6, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida.

Rousseau was the former medical director of Health Care Solutions Network Inc. (HCSN), a now-closed partial hospitalization program (PHP) that purported to provide intensive treatment for mental illness.  Crabtree, Salafia and Marks were therapists who worked for HCSN.

According to the evidence presented at trial, from approximately 2004 through 2011, HCSN billed Medicare and Medicaid for mental health services that were not medically necessary or never provided, and that HCSN paid kickbacks to assisted living facility owners and operators in Miami who, in exchange, referred beneficiaries to HCSN.

The trial evidence showed that Rousseau routinely signed what he knew to be fabricated and altered medical records without reviewing the substance of the records and, in most instances, without ever meeting with the patients.  The evidence at trial also demonstrated that Crabtree, Salafia and Marks fabricated medical records to support HCSN’s false and fraudulent claims for reimbursement for PHP services.

In total, HCSN submitted approximately $63.7 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid.  Medicare and Medicaid paid approximately $28 million on those claims.

In November 2014, following a jury trial, co-defendants Blanca Ruiz and Alina Fonts were convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and Fonts also was convicted of health care fraud.  In February 2015, both Ruiz and Fonts were sentenced to serve six years in prison.

This information provided on the US Dept. of Justice website

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