The owners and operators of a Lakeland, Florida, physical therapy business have been sentenced in federal court. The pair pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud for their roles in submitting more than $750,000 in fraudulent Medicare claims. The men were sentenced to 42 months and 46 months in prison. They were also ordered to pay restitution and will be subject to supervised release for up to three years after serving their sentences.
According to their pleadings, after purchasing the physical therapy company, Dynamic Therapy Inc., the two men began billing Medicare for treatments never administered. In some cases Medicare beneficiaries would be paid kickbacks to pretend they received the services. The men also acknowledged stealing the identities of a physical therapist and Medicare recipients to further bill Medicare for services.
The conspiracy surrounding Dynamic Therapy Inc. was discovered by Medicare Fraud Strike Force investigators as part of their nationwide efforts to curb fraudulent billing. Health care providers all over the country are being scrutinized in connection with reports of rampant fraud and misuse of the Medicare system. So far, the Strike Force has charged more than 1,000 people for improper billing, kickbacks and other banned practices.
Physical therapy businesses have received particular attention from Medicare fraud investigators. Countless health care practitioners and business owners are being reviewed for potential criminal prosecution. South Florida has been identified as a hub where significant fraudulent activity has occurred. Many of the largest criminal cases are being held in federal courts in Florida.
Source: 7th Space Interactive, "Owners of Fraudulent Lakeland, Florida Physical Therapy Company Sentenced to 42 and 46 Months in Prison," 14 October 2011