Monday, April 11, 2011

Miami mental health center manager pleads guilty to more than $100 million in Medicare fraud

From The AP:

MIAMI -- The manager of a Miami community mental health center has pleaded guilty to a Medicare fraud scam resulting in more than $100 million in bogus claims.

As part of Thursday's plea, Margarita Acevedo admitted bribing patients to attend American Therapeutic Corporation so the company could bill Medicare for sleep studies and intensive mental illness treatments that patients didn't need.

Federal authorities indicted the company in October, alleging ATC paid the owners of assisted living facilities and halfway houses to force patients to attend programs at their seven mental health centers. Authorities say some patients also cashed in on the scheme by providing their Medicare numbers - others were not coherent enough to demand kickbacks.

An employee contacted authorities prompting the investigation.

The telephone rang unanswered at ATC offices on Friday.