Former army doc sentenced to 2.5 years for recommending surgical devices; 12 Texans accused of playing role in home health scheme;

News From Around the Web

> A former army doctor was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for his role in a $7.3 million fraud scheme in which he recommended that Darnall Army Medical Center in Ft. Hood, Texas, and William Beaumont Army Medical Center purchase medical devices from Ativa Corporation and Allure Spine Consulting LLC, with whom he was a paid consultant. Army Lt. Col. Richard Craig Rooney was employed by Ativa and Allure from 2005 through 2010, when he was also making decisions to use surgical products sold by both companies for procedures in the two Texas hospitals. Announcement

> Texas law enforcement officials arrested 12 individuals tied to a home health scheme that stole $2.5 million from Medicare. The 12 individuals worked for Grace Munthali, owner of Three Angels Home Health Inc., who was sentenced to five years in prison for her role in the scheme. Prosecutors contend each of the 12 defendants was paid $500 for each Medicare beneficiary they signed up for home health services. Announcement

> American Access Care Holdings LLC has agreed to pay a combined $6.1 million to Connecticut and Rhode Island to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing for medically unnecessary percutaneous transluminal angioplasties as well as unnecessary follow-up care. The false claims allegations predate the company's merger with Fresenius Vascular Care Inc. in October 2011. Rhode Island announcement and Connecticut announcement

Health Payer News

> Blue Cross Blue Shield announced plans to launch a massive database, known as BCBS Axis, that includes healthcare cost and quality information. The database will include cost data from 2.3 billion annual procedures, $350 billion in annual claims and provider records for every ZIP code in the country. Article

> More than 140 insurers could face penalties of more than $4.9 million for missing the April 15 deadline for the Report of Health Insurance Provider Information, a tax form filed with the Internal Revenue Service, according to a report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The majority of insurers were unsure of unaware of the filing requirements of the form which is used to allocate the Health Insurance Provider Fee. Article

And finally… Here's at least one nomination for this year's "Darwin Awards." Article