February 16, 2016
ISSUE | HEALTH CARE Protect professionals By a vote of 177-0, Pennsylvania's House of Representatives sent a message Wednesday that more can be done to protect the state's health-care workers from assault during the performance of their jobs. House Bill 1219 adds health-care professionals to a protected class of individuals in cases of assault. Sponsored by Rep. Judy Ward (R., Blair), the bill raises the penalty from a second-degree misdemeanor to a felony. Nearly 60 percent of nonfatal assaults and violent acts occur in the health-care and social-assistance industry.
February 11, 2016
A federal jury convicted a registered nurse on four counts of health care fraud Monday in a case in which prosecutors alleged she aided her employer in a plan to bilk Medicare out of more than $9 million. Between 2005 and 2008, Patricia McGill, 68, served as the former director of professional services of Home Care Hospice, the Bustleton facility that prosecutors alleged enrolled dozens of patients who did not meet federal guidelines for hospice care. In addition, the government accused McGill, under the watch of the facility's owners, of overseeing the falsification of records to suggest patients were sicker than they were or received treatments that were never given.
November 20, 2015
A story Thursday on a new discount program for E-ZPass customers crossing Delaware River Port Authority bridges gave the wrong launch date. The program starts Dec. 1. A story Wednesday about a doctor accused of health-care fraud misstated the status of Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol. It emerged from bankruptcy in 2012 and is operating under new management.
February 22, 2015 |
Have you witnessed something illegal, unethical, or potentially fraudulent where you work? If you rat out corporate bad behavior, you could win millions. Last year, for example, Edward O'Donnell, a former Countrywide Financial executive, won $58 million from parent company Bank of America in a case stemming from the sale of shoddy mortgages. His award was part of a record $435 million the U.S. government paid in whistleblower awards, mostly related to health-care fraud and cases involving banks and mortgage companies.
November 8, 2014 |
After indicting nine Philadelphia-area ambulance company owners and their employees for Medicare fraud since 2011, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia on Thursday, for the first time, charged passengers with fraud for accepting kickbacks. The 30-page indictment alleges that four Medicare beneficiaries received payments of up to $500 a month for riding in ambulances operated by Brotherly Love Ambulance Inc. of Philadelphia. The usual model of ambulance fraud in Philadelphia involves transporting dialysis patients, who actually can travel safely by less-expensive means.
July 30, 2014 |
Anna Mudrova, 41, of Huntingdon Valley, received an eight-year prison term for her role in a Medicare fraud involving Penn Choice Ambulance Inc., which operated from Huntingdon Valley Camp Hill, Pa. Mudrova's scheme involved more than $3.6 million in fraudulent Medicare claims, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Mudrova and other defendants who worked for Penn Choice falsified reports to make it seem like patients needed ambulance transport when they didn't.
June 23, 2014 |
A VETERAN federal prosecutor passionately told a judge yesterday that Alex Pugman, a leading defendant in a Medicare fraud case, "was without a doubt the most exceptional cooperator I have worked with. " Pugman, who was the director and co-owner of the now-defunct Home Care Hospice in Northeast Philly, helped explain the roles of other participants in the scheme, pointed out the fraud in the agency's records, and testified at two grand juries and at three trials, Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Ercole said.
February 12, 2014 |
John Pease helped lead health-care fraud investigations - as well as sending former Pennsylvania State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo to prison - before leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia in January 2013. Now, as senior counsel at Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Pease will be on the other side of a health-care legal fight. Teva said Monday, in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, that it was under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan over sales practices related to its best-selling drug, Copaxone.
April 12, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. - A North Jersey cardiologist has admitted taking part in a scheme that subjected thousands of patients to unnecessary tests and treatment and resulted in $19 million in bogus bills, authorities said. Jose Katz, 68, of Closter, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiracy to commit health-care fraud and an unrelated count of Social Security fraud for giving his wife a years-long no-show job, making her eligible for Social Security. Katz, 68, was the founder and chief executive of Cardio-Med Services L.L.C., which had offices in Union City, Paterson, and West New York, and Comprehensive Healthcare & Medical Services, which had offices in Manhattan and Queens, N.Y. Katz, who is free on bail, is scheduled to be sentenced July 23. The health-care fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
April 3, 2013
In the Region Guilty pleas in Medicare fraud Two brothers who operated a Feasterville ambulance company, MedEx Ambulance Inc. , pleaded guilty to overcharging Medicare by $2.5 million for the transport of kidney patients to dialysis who could have gotten there safely by other means, United States Attorney Zane David Memeger announced. The brothers, Aleksandr N. Zagorodny and Sergey Zagorodny, pleaded guilty to all charges in a 41-count indictment charging them with health-care fraud, making false statements in connection with health-care matters, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit health-care fraud and wire fraud, the prosecutor's office said.