Agency President Gets 7 Years for Home Health Fraud

The lead administrator of a Chicago-based home health practice has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for his role in a $4 million fraud scheme.

In addition to the prison term, 58-year-old Rick Brown, president of Home Care America Inc., has also been ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. He was convicted in May of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, six counts of health care fraud and three counts of false statements relating to a health care matter.

Home Care America managed the daily business operations of Medicall Physicians Group Ltd., a physician practice that visited patients in their homes and prescribed home health care.

The release states that Brown, of Rockford, Illinois, served as president of Home Care America from 2007 to 2011. During that period, Brown was found to have regularly billed Medicare for care plan oversight, when the doctors deployed by Medicall rarely oversaw such patient care plans.

Brown also billed Medicare for services that were never provided, including services administered to patients who were deceased and by doctors no longer employed by Medicall, according to the release. Billing records show that Brown billed Medicare for services supposedly provided by medical professionals who worked more than 24 hours per day, as well.

Medicall submitted more than $4 million in claims over the five-year period, according to the release, and Medicare paid more than $1 million on those billing submissions.

Two others have also been convicted of involvement in the scheme, but have not yet been sentenced.

Representatives with Home Care America and Medicall could not be reached for comment regarding Brown’s sentencing.

Written by Kourtney Liepelt