By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Health Care Administrator Accepts Bribes.
An alleged $1 billion health care scheme has lead to the first known prosecution against a Florida Agency for Health Care Administration official. Bertha Blanco faces a wide range of charges including accepting bribes to tip off individuals when state wide investigations were to begin.
The Ring Alleged Ring Leader.
It is reported that Blanco oversaw inspections by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration or “AHCA” of Florida nursing homes owned by Phillip Esformes. Blanco was allegedly taking bribes to tip off Esformes of violations reported to the state agency before the investigation (or “survey”) even began. This allegedly allowed Esformes to attempt to fix or remedy the deficiencies that were reported even before the investigation began and to maintain his. Esformes is alleged to have billed the federal government for questionable patient services. Esformes is reported to be the ring leader in this Medicare fraud case and is facing years of jail time if his defense does to prevail.
Billion Dollar Scheme Puts Many People Away.
Bertha Blanco is reported to be the first Agency for Health Care Administration official charged with allegedly accepting bribes. Blanco, Esformes, and many more individuals are being charged in this billion dollar case.
Health Care Fraud Should Not Be Taken Lightly.
We have been consulted by many individuals, both before and after criminal convictions for fraud or related offenses. In many cases, those subject to Medicare fraud audits and investigations refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of the matter. Additionally individuals facing embezzlement charges should realize the severity of the offense. Some may even decide not to spend the money required for a highly experienced health attorney to defend them.
The government is serious about combating health care fraud and embezzlement.. False claims are a growing problem in the program, costing the government billions of dollars each year. Accordingly, punishments for defrauding the system can be quite severe.
If you are accused of Medicaid or Medicare fraud, realize that you are in a fight for your life. Your liberty, property/possessions and profession are all at stake.
To read further about the seriousness of health care fraud you can read additional blogs of mine here.
To read further on how the government is cracking down on health care fraud, click here to read one of my prior blogs.
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Handling Medicare Audits, Investigations and other Legal Proceedings.
The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent healthcare providers in Medicare audits, ZPIC audits and RAC audits throughout Florida and across the U.S. They also represent physicians, medical groups, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare providers and institutions in Medicare and Medicaid investigations, audits, recovery actions and termination from Medicare and Medicaid Program.
The Health Law Firm’s attorneys routinely represent physicians, dentists, orthodontists, medical groups, clinics, pharmacies, assisted living facilities (ALFs), home health care agencies, nursing homes, group homes and other healthcare providers in Medicaid and Medicare investigations, audits and recovery actions.
To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Press, The Associated. “Florida Health Care Admin Charged in $1B Medicare Fraud Case.” WTOP. 29 July 2017
“Three Individuals Charged in $1 Billion Medicare Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme.” The United States Department of Justice. N.p., (22 July 2016). Web.
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