Provided by: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
November 30, 2021
Florida Southern District sentenced laboratory owner to 82 months in prison for illegally exploiting Covid-19 Telemedicine regulations. The court found that the laboratory owner paid kickbacks in order to arrange telemedicine providers to authorize thousands of medically unnecessary cancer and cardiovascular genetic testing orders for the lab. The DOJ press release was specific in highlighting that the defendant "exploited temporary amendments to telehealth restrictions enacted during the pandemic, which were intended to expand access to care for Medicare recipients by making it easier for beneficiaries to receive needed medical care from home." https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/laboratory-owner-sentenced-82-months-prison-covid-19-kickback-scheme
Noteworthy here is that this case was brought with 13 other cases on May 26, 2021 as part of the coordinated law enforcement action to combat health care fraud related to COVID-19. It is safe to say, based on the DOJ’s emphasis on publicly reprimanding fraudsters who took advantage of a national emergency, that more investigations will be opened and cases made in connection with potential fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic.