Back in the early to mid-20th century, house calls by doctors were considered a common practice, especially in rural areas. Today, house calls are usually reserved for those who are unable to get to the doctor’s office and are performed by home health care service companies that dispatch medical personnel to check on patients. A press release issued by The Department of Justice describes how a former Detroit-area physician participated in a fraudulent scheme to bill Medicare for more than $11.5 million in house call services.
The press release states that over approximately a two-and-a-half year period, the 60-year-old former physician claimed to be licensed, even though his medical license had been revoked. (That’s a scary thought.) During this time, he purportedly provided physician home services to Medicare beneficiaries, charging for services he did not provide. He operated his billing scheme out of a medical practice that was owned by an alleged co-conspirator. The fraudulent physician prepared medical documentation allegedly signed by licensed doctors, who did not perform the claimed services. (Let’s hope the Medicare Strike Force will go after those doctors too.) Over nearly four-and-a-half years, the unlicensed doctor caused false claims of approximately $1.1 million to be submitted.
The fraudulent doctor pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He faces up to 10 years in prison plus a $250,000 fine.
This doctor’s career is definitely over whether licensed or not. It’s a given that he will not be making any more house calls as part of his profession. (The only house he will be visiting is the Big House, where he will be staying for quite an extended amount of time.)