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July 25, 2016

Posted  July 25, 2016

Florida announced the arrests of three individuals for operating a $1 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme involving numerous Miami-based health care providers. Attorney General Bondi’s MFCU, as part of the HEAT Strike Force, assisted in identifying more than $100 million of Medicaid fraud in connection to this scheme. According to the indictment, Philip Esformes, 47, operated a network of more than 30 skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities that gave access to thousands of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Many of these beneficiaries did not qualify for skilled nursing home care or for placement in an assisted living facility. However, Esformes and co-conspirators admitted the beneficiaries to Esformes Network facilities, and received medically unnecessary services billed to Medicare and Medicaid. The defendants also allegedly received kickbacks by steering the beneficiaries to other health care providers, including community mental health centers and home health care providers, who also performed medically unnecessary treatments billed to Medicare and Medicaid. In order to hide the kickbacks from law enforcement, the kickbacks were often paid in cash, or were disguised as payments to charitable donations, payments for services and sham lease payments. FL

Tagged in: Anti-Kickback and Stark, FCA State, Healthcare Fraud, Lack of Medical Necessity, Medicaid,