A federal jury in Detroit convicted a physical therapist and a patient recruiter for their involvement in a home health care fraud scheme that bilked $1.6 million from the Medicare program, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Physical therapist Rajan Patel, 30, of Clinton Township, Michigan, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, three counts of health care fraud and three counts of making false statements relating to health care matters for his role in fabricating patient medical records for unqualified home health services that were billed to Medicare.
Patel worked as a physical therapist at Angle’s Touch Home Health Care LLC. With the help of patient recruiter Reginald Smith, 54, Patel and others recruited patients from an adult day care center in Flint, Michigan, to receive home health care services. Patel then fabricated patients’ medical records to make it appear that they qualified for and received home health care services, when they ultimately did not.
Smith, who worked as a recruiter for Angle’s Touch in 2011 and 2012, solicited patients for foot care services at adult foster care homes. He then referred the patients to Angle’s Touch for medically unnecessary home health services in exchange for kickbacks, which were disguised as payments to Smith’s nonprofit Medicare provider, People Helping People of Detroit.
Evidence at trial showed that Medicare paid Angle’s Touch over $1.6 million throughout the course of the conspiracy.
For his involvement, Smith was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to solicit and receive health care kickbacks.
Four other individuals charged in the case pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with their roles in the scheme.
Written by Jason Oliva