Articles Tagged with bay area healthcare fraud lawyer

jonathan-perez-409943-copy-300x200The sentencing of a physician convicted of health care fraud was continued in March. Paul Matthew Bolger, 46, will not be sentenced until May 22 for committing health care fraud. In August 2017, he pleaded guilty to 18 counts of making false claims related to health care and five counts for crimes related to misbranded drugs. While Bolger’s case took place in Bettendorf, Iowa, one count of false statements began in California and was transferred from the Central District of California, demonstrating that many health care fraud schemes cross state lines.

Intentional False Statements Regarding Prescriptions

Bolger pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully making false statements by signing numerous prescription forms that authorized prescription drugs and indicated they were necessary. However, he did not know that to be true. He signed and supported the validity of each prescription based on an intake form created by non-medical staff at a call center located outside of the U.S. He did not talk with any of the patients personally, he did not conduct any physical exams, and he did not review any of the patient’s medical records.

vladimir-kudinov-71455-copy-300x241On January 12, the former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, California was sentenced to 63 months in prison. The owner, Michael D. Drobot, 73, was charged with crimes related to running a 15-year health care fraud scheme. In 2014, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and paying illegal kickbacks to physicians. In addition to the prison sentence, Drobot has been ordered to liquidate numerous assets in order to forfeit $10 million to the government and pay a $500,000 criminal fine. A restitution hearing is scheduled for May 11, which may result in additional financial consequences for Drobot.

Owner Created Massive Kickback Scheme

Between 1997 and 2013, Drobot created a scheme in which he would bill workers’ compensation insurers for spinal surgeries performed on patients who had been referred by physicians who received illegal kickbacks from Drobot for sending patients to his facility. Drobot had dozens of physicians, chiropractors, and others involved in sending patients to his hospital for services in exchange for illegal payments.

hospitalOne of the many ways that patients are at the mercy of their health care providers and insurers is through pharmaceuticals and prescriptions. Doctors write specific prescriptions, sometimes based on pharmaceutical advertisements, that may require that patients receive name brand drugs. Insurers place limitations on the types of drugs that insureds can access. Another way that insurers and pharmaceutical companies have been limiting patient options is by engaging in health care fraud in order to increase profits at the expense of patient choice. Luckily, False Claims Act lawsuits have exposed pharmaceutical fraud, and actions have been taken against some major perpetrators.

Medco Fraud Settlement

According to the Corporate Crime Reporter, former AstraZeneca employees filed a qui tam lawsuit against AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, and Medco, a company that manages pharmacy benefits. The lawsuit alleged that Medco and AstraZeneca entered into hidden financial agreements based on which Medco received lower prices on three AstraZeneca drugs in exchange for including one of AstraZeneca’s medications as the only one of its kind on some of Medco’s list of covered prescriptions.