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When Healthcare Fraud Turns Deadly

Deadly Healthcare Fraud in Florida and Beyond

Do you think Medicare and Medicaid fraud is a victim-less crime? Think again. Many times, health care fraud only causes monetary damages to the government and taxpayers. Depending on the type of fraud, however, it can also result in injuries to or even the death of Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries. Unscrupulous fraudsters who fail to provide adequate care required by Medicare and Medicaid, not only scam the government and taxpayers, they put innocent lives in jeopardy.

Take for example a recent criminal healthcare fraud case in Maryland against Alpha Diagnostics, LLC, a portable diagnostic services provider of x-rays, ultrasounds, and cardiologic tests. According to the Department of Justice, the testimony and evidence presented at trial showed Alpha defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by falsely representing that the tests had been interpreted by licensed radiologists, when in fact, the tests had only been reviewed by non-physician employees of Alpha. In furtherance of the fraud, Alpha employees allegedly created fictitious reports purportedly created by an actual licensed physician to which they would forge the licensed physician’s signature.

According to the government, two Medicare patients died because the non-physician employee of Alpha that read the chest x-rays failed to detect congestive heart failure which resulted in both patients’ deaths just days later. In one case, the nursing home patient was not transferred to an acute care facility for treatment and died within four days. In the other case, the patient’s chest x-ray was taken as part of the standard pre-operative procedure for an elective surgery. Because the patient’s heart condition was not detected by the non-physician employee, she was improperly “cleared” for the elective surgery, but experienced significant post-operative bleeding and died less than a week later.

Don’t be afraid to blow the whistle on healthcare fraud.

In sum, healthcare fraud doesn’t just target the government’s wallet – it puts patients’ lives at risk. If you have firsthand knowledge of government healthcare fraud, you may be eligible to bring a qui tam whistleblower case under the False Claims Act. Contact our law offices or call 877-915-4040 for a free and confidential consultation.

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