Weekly Fraud Blotter from Lexis/Nexis: August 15, 2009
Each week we’ll be surveying what the media, state agencies, insurance companies, and others report in terms of workers’ comp fraud. Just like a police blotter, our workers’ comp fraud blotter lists recent arrests, charges, and convictions.
$154 Million Medical Insurance Fraud Scheme
Talk about fraud and abuse! Here’s a case study that would make a good stage play.
$154 Million Scam
2,841 healthy patients
Unnecessary and dangereous surgeries
Fraudulant billing of medical insurance companies (PPO)
1,0000 Employers in 39 states scammed
1 Outpatient surgery center
The Game – Capping
The defendants in the outpatient surgery center were accused of participating in a $154 million medical insurance fraud scheme by recruiting 2,841 healthy people nationwide and bribing them with money or low cost cosmetic surgery, to receive unnecessary and dangerous surgeries and submitting fraudulant claims to medical insurance companies. “Capping,” the recruitment of patients, is illegal in California.
The cappers targeted employees from businesses in 39 states covered by PPO insurance plans, affecting more than 1,000 employers whose employees became involved in the scheme.
They were accused of arranging transportation for the patients, scheduling the surgeries, and coaching the healthy “patients” on what to say.
In exchange for undergoing surgery, the patients received a cash payment, usually between $300 and $1,000 per surgery, or credit toward a free or discounted cosmetic surgery.
The convicted had no medical training, recruited patients with PPO insurance, scheduled surgical procedures, and coached patients to correctly describe symptoms for the unnecessary surgical procedures. They assisted patients in filling out surgery center paperwork, had them sign a false affidavit stating they had not been offered compensation and had not received any compensation in exchange for using the surgery center’s services.
All participants were arrested, charged with a variety of fraudulent crimes, indicted or pleaded guilty and received various prison sentences for participating in one of the nation’s largest medical fraud prosecutions. for recruiting over 2,841 healthy patients to undergo unnecessary and dangerous surgeries to fraudulently bill medical insurance companies in the amount of $154 million. (workersxzcompxzkit)
The surgery center will be ordered to pay restitution and back taxes for personal and corporate taxes to CFTB. A restitution hearing for all of the convicted cappers is scheduled for December 4, 2009.
Extracted: Press release office of Attorney Tony Rackauckas, 8/11/09.
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The latest workers’ comp fraud blotter see http://law.lexisnexis.com/practiceareas/Workers-Compensation-Law-Blog/workers-compensation-fraud-/Workers-Comp-Fraud-Blotter-8152009—-Recent-Arrests-Charges–Convictions
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