Home health owner sentenced in $30 million scheme; psychotherapist billed Medicare for dead patients

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> The owner of a Miami home health agency was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for his involvement in a $30 million fraud scheme that took place from 2007 to 2011. Ramon Regueira pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in November for his participation in a scheme in which he and co-conspirators paid kickbacks to patient recruiters and fraudulently billed Medicare for physical therapy and home health services that were unnecessary or not provided. Release

> An Evanston, Illinois psychotherapist has been indicted for filing false Medicare claims totaling $500,000, some of which involved patients who were already dead, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Additionally, Jonathon Levy allegedly billed for services that were never provided, billed Medicare under his name for services provided by an unqualified worker and treated patients in group therapy but billed Medicare as if he'd treated them individually. Article

> The executive of a Florida psychiatric hospital was sentenced to six years in federal prison and required to pay nearly $40 million for his participation in a $67 million fraud scheme, according totThe Sun-Sentinel. Christopher Gabel pleaded guilty in November to submitting false claims from 2003 to 2012 that billed Medicare for treatment that was not necessary or not provided. Additionally, Gabel admitted to paying kickbacks to patient brokers to falsify invoices and marketing reports. Article

Health Finance News:

> The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday said it would fundamentally reform how it pays providers for treating Medicare patients in the coming years. The intent, according to HHS officials, is to cut down on the volume of unnecessary procedures while improving patient outcomes. Article

> Healthcare expenditures will contribute to an increase in federal spending over the next few years, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. After a drop in the federal budget deficit this year and the next, it will begin to rise again after 2017, driven in large part by Medicare spending, according to the report. Article

And finally… A billboard mannequin in Iowa prompts concerned 911 calls. Article