Every year, whistleblowers report unscrupulous health care providers who cheat Medicare and the American taxpayers out of millions of dollars. Many providers simply bill Medicare for services they never provided. Some create elaborate phony records to back up their non-existent services. Others don’t even bother with that.
Detroit Physical Therapy Assistant Sentenced for Role in Medicare Fraud
Hetal Barot, 30, is a registered physical therapy assistant from Westland, Michigan, near Detroit. From May 2009 through September of 2011, Barot worked for four different home health agencies, all owned by her co-conspirators:
- Physicians Choice Home Health Care LLC
- Quantum Home Care Inc.
- First Care Home Health Care LLC
- Moonlite Home Care Inc.
In 2009, Barot was paid by Physicians Choice to make up therapy revisit notes, progress evaluations and other medical records to document physical therapy sessions for patients that Barot did not see or treat. Her co-conspirators instructed Barot on how to create the phony documentation. Later, Barot was paid to falsify the same kinds of documentation for the other three home health care providers. Barot knew that the falsified records would be used in the submission of fraudulent billings to Medicare.
Medicare paid over $1.3 million to the four home health care providers based on the false records created by Barot, the Department of Justice reports. That was just a fraction of the $13.8 million total amount Medicare paid to the providers in the health care fraud scheme.
In June 2012, Barot pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In December, she was sentenced to 30 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Barot was also ordered to pay, along with her co-conspirators, $1,336,739 in restitution to Medicare.
Whistleblowers Help Put an End to Medicare Fraud
Medicare fraud like the home health care scheme in Detroit is often brought to light when a whistleblower files a False Claims Act lawsuit on the government’s behalf. The qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act reward individuals for their effort by allowing them to share part of any amount received in settlement or in a jury award.
Learn your legal rights under the False Claims Act. The qui tam attorneys at Waters & Kraus can help. Send us an email or call our whistleblower lawyers at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our law firm and how we can assist.