Eight Miami-area nurses were sentenced to prison and ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution after pleading guilty to their role in an $18.7 million Medicare home healthcare fraud scheme, the Department of Justice said.
The nurses were originally indicted in July 2010, along with Jorge Dieppa, MD, who awaits trial on charges of healthcare fraud, and making false statements related to Medicare payments.
According to prosecutors, the Miami-based healthcare agencies ABC Home Health Inc. and Florida Home Health Care Providers Inc. were owned by the nurses, and allegedly referred Medicare beneficiaries to Dieppa for prescriptions, medical certifications and care plans for therapy and home health services. ABC and Florida Home Health billed Medicare $18.7 million for services that were either medically unnecessary or never provided.
The eight nurses each previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and were sentenced in US District Court: