American Therapeutic Corp. Charged with Fleecing Medicare out of $200m By Using Dementia Patients
|Bad doctors, bad.|
The company owns seven mental health centers throughout South and Central Florida. In order to increase billing to Medicare, American Therapeutic Corp. paid owners of several halfway homes and assisted living centers to force patients living with dementia to attend therapy sessions at those centers even though they weren't necessary. In some cases the patients themselves got kick backs, though many were "not coherent enough" to demand money.
From the AP:
The government says doctors were told to falsify medical charts to make it look like patients had a mental illness and needed medication and therapy to be stabilized. But those patients were already stabilized or didn't require medications, according to the indictment.The scheme is just the latest Medicare fraud uncovered that is centered in Miami. The area is believed to be responsible for about $3 billion in Medicare fraud a year.
The therapy is supposed to be intensive counseling for patients on the verge of hospitalization, but federal officials said ATC didn't give any counseling or brought patients in for less intensive group-therapy sessions.
Marianella Valera, one of ATC's owners, manipulated records so patients would have to stay longer at the facility racking up a higher bill for Medicare, the indictment says.
[Herald: Federal agents round up ring of mental health operators in alleged $200 million Medicare fraud case] [AP: Miami mental health center charged with using dementia patients in $200 mil. Medicare scam]