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Houston doc convicted in Medicare scheme

Houston Chronicle, December 14, 2012
A Houston doctor was convicted Thursday for writing prescriptions for unnecessary home health care treatment that became the basis for $5.2 million in phony Medicare claims. Ben Echols, who already had been disciplined by the Texas Medical Board four times, could face up to 40 years in prison when sentenced early next year. Echols was accused of prescribing home health care for patients who did not need it. Evidence presented at his trial this week convinced jurors that Echols' signature on prescriptions or "plans of care" used by Family Healthcare Services and Houston Compassionate Care companies, resulted in the phony Medicare claims being paid.