Five people connected to a Dallas-area home healthcare company pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health fraud, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The four owners of Alliance Healthcare Services and a colleague each face a maximum of 10 years in prison, $250,000 fines and restitution.
Alliance submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare between November 2008 and February of this year, and forged nurse notations to back up the claims, according a Department of Justice press release. However, most of the patients on whose behalf it submitted claims were not homebound and therefore not qualified for the benefits. The patients were paid kickbacks to receive the services at home and maintain their connection to Alliance.
Altogether, Alliance netted about $1 million from the scheme, notes the Star-Telegram. It is unclear whether any of the seniors will be prosecuted.
Since the Medicare Fraud Strike Force began cracking down on fraud in 2007, it's prosecuted more than 1,100 defendants who have bilked the program out of more than $2.9 billion.