Healthcare News & Insights

Medicare fraud scheme: Nurse gets jail time for signing false claims

Anthony Parkman, a Detroit-area registered nurse, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Now he will spend 30 months in jail for his part in a nearly $13.8 million Medicare fraud scheme.

In addition to his prison term, Parkman was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $450,988 in restitution jointly with his co-defendants.

According to Parkman’s plea agreement, in December 2008, he was paid to sign medical documentation for Physicians Choice Home Health Care LLC, a home health agency that billed and received payments from Medicare for home health services that were never rendered.

False claims

Parkman, who is 41 and lives in Southfield, MI, admitted to not seeing or treating the patients whose medical documentation he signed.  He also admitted to knowing that the documents he signed would be used to support false claims to Medicare. For his services, Parkman was paid $150 for each false claim he signed.

The companies that employed his illegal services were First Care Home Health Care  LLC, Quantum Home Care, Inc., and Moonlite Home Care, Inc. These Detroit-area home health care companies were owned by Parkman’s co-conspirators that billed Medicare for the fictitious services. In total, these companies were paid about $13.8 million by Medicare.

Nine of Parkman’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing, while three other are fugitives and another six await trial, noted the Department of Justice in a release.

Medicare fraud strike force

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its creation in 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged more than 1,480 defendants, who’ve collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 million.

So make sure your facility’s billing is squeaky clean, because HHS’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be working in conjunction with HHS-OIG to increase accountability of providers and decrease the number of fraudulent providers.

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