Dialing for Medicare Dollars

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Telemarketing calls can be highly annoying, especially when the phone rings during dinner. An article in The Chicago Business Journal tells about the owner of a telemarketing company, who may have annoyed one person too many and got into trouble for dialing for Medicare dollars. She took part in a scheme that illegally recruited Medicare patients for multiple home health care agencies in exchange for kickbacks.

The telemarketing company owner directed her employees to make cold calls to qualified Medicare beneficiaries, convincing them to seek health care services from three different Chicago-area home nursing providers. For every patient that visited a provider, the company owner collected a kickback payment.

Following a five-day trial, the 47-year-old company owner was found guilty of six counts of soliciting and receiving kickbacks from the home care providers. With each count punishable up to five years, she is facing up to 30 years in prison.

This woman is not the first person to be convicted in the scheme. Three other co-conspirators include a nurse, doctor and manager of a medical services company. Two of the co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty to billing for unnecessary services, making kickback payments and falsely certifying patients for nursing services. The other co-conspirator was convicted in a jury trial and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Congratulations to the Medicare Fraud Strike Force for slamming the phone down on this annoying scheme and preventing this woman from dialing for Medicare fraud dollars she didn’t deserve. It looks like the only outbound calls she will be making in the future will be collect and from behind bars.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Owner of suburban telemarketing company found guilty of Medicare fraud,” published by The Chicago Business Journal on September 1, 2016.

The owner of Homewood, Illinois-based Serenity Marketing Inc. was convicted for her role in a scheme to illegally recruit and direct Medicare patients to home care agencies, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

A federal jury found Sundae Williams, 47, of South Holland, guilty of accepting kickback payments from home care providers in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to the services.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.