Fraud in my loved industry

Fla. home health firm owner gets 10 years in $13M Medicare fraud plot
Alexander Lara of Hollywood, Fla., the owner of Longcare Home Health in Miami, was sentenced to a 10-year prison term for his involvement in a $13 million Medicare fraud scheme. Lara pleaded guilty to billing the program for unnecessary and unprovided health services, paying illegal kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals and bribing doctors in exchange for false prescriptions. Lara was also ordered to pay restitution of $13,771,528.94. Federal Bureau of Investigation/News release (5/12)

Why is it that none of the industry trade associations will publicize this and other arrests and punishments? NAHC, NHPCO, VNAA, CAHSAH, all the MACs, etc. should all publicize this and any others and they do not. If folks are not in compliance because of integrity then let them be in compliance because of fear.

The home health care industry has lots of loving, caring people. It also has a number of people in it solely for the money, legal and not. We should all stand up, shout and point out the crooks. The government has a number of ways for suspected fraud to be reported. Yet when I mention them to clients for their use they tell me, “why bother”; “I don’t want to be identified”; “the government won’t do anything”. I say report them not in as much for them to get caught and stopped but for yourself; personal responsibility.

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3 Responses to Fraud in my loved industry

  1. Larry Leahy says:

    I believe the only way to get everyone’s attention is to hit the pocketbook. I can’t remember what the following proposal’s technical name is but you take the most recent year’s fraud totals and reduce the program’s FY budget amount by that number. While I am usually against mass punishment I believe this is the only way to get people’s and organization’s attention.

  2. Pat says:

    Larry, Kindly don’t even think of suggesting to punish the good guys. haven’t we been beaten up enough? Maybe you have extra money to give to the government, but some of us don’t. I, too, believe that our associations should take a more visible role in fighting crime among its members.

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