Husband and wife DME owners convicted for $1.5M scheme; Ohio woman sentenced for submitting $18M in claims while banned from Medicare;

News From Around the Web

> A husband and wife who served as owner and operator of a Los Angeles durable medical equipment company were convicted in fraud scheme that billed Medicare for $1.5 million. Amalya Cherniavsky and her husband, Vladislav Tcherniavsky, were both convicted for paying kickbacks to patient recruiters and physicians in exchange for referrals and fraudulent prescriptions, which were used to bill for power wheelchairs from 2006 through 2013. Announcement

> An Ohio woman was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison and ordered to pay $18 million for submitting home health claims to Medicaid after being barred from the program for five years. Along with her mother, Queen Ward, Sharon Ward billed for home health services and nursing visits while she was an excluded provider, and received a salary of more than $2.2 million. Announcement

> A Chicago podiatrist, along with his wife and the CEO of his company, were indicted on charges that they falsified records and pressured other physicians to provide unnecessary services. Yev Gray, owner and president of Aggeus Healthcare; his wife, Natalie Gray, who also served as director of corporate compliance and legal affiars; as well as James Sayadzad, who served as the company's CEO, are accused of automatically inserting undocumented symptoms into patient electronic medical records, which allowed the company to bill for unnecessary services between 2009 and September 2015. Announcement

Health Payer News

> Shareholders for Aetna and Humana have "overwhelmingly" approved the merger between the two insurance companies. In a statement following the shareholder meetings, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini emphasized that the deal would allow both companies to offer a broader range of products and better care; however, the merger still faces obstacles from federal and state regulators. Article

> The chief data and engagement officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee says that the insurer is using data to drive personalized, preventive care. Each patient interaction is a data point that clinicians can use to better understand health complications. Article

And finally… Better late than never. Article