KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Two Former LA Medical Center Owners To Pay $10 Million In Medicare Fraud Case

The Los Angeles Times: "The two former owners of City of Angels Medical Center will pay $10 million as part of a consent judgment over allegations that they performed unnecessary medical work on homeless people recruited from skid row shelters as part of a Medicare fraud scheme." Authorities alleged that the center would charge the government for the treatments (Grad, 1/26).

KTLA News reports on the same case: "Many of those homeless patients were paid around $100 to come into the hospital by recruiter Estill Mitts. He claims to have received $20,000 a month in kickbacks for the delivery of between 30 and 50 patients a month." Mitts and the center's two owners have pleaded guilty to criminal charges and are awaiting sentencing (1/26).

In a separate case, The (McAllen, Texas) Monitor reports on the sentencing of a Mexican man who rounded up patients in a health care fraud case. Prosecutors said Raul Torres, who sold trinkets at elderly day care facilities, used his ties in those centers to get patients for a doctor who has been convicted of fraudulently billing Medicare and Medicaid of more than $1 million. The doctor "paid Torres to win over management at these businesses and round up patents for treatments that were either unnecessary or never took place. Working as the physician's middleman, Torres delivered bribes of $150 to $300 to day care managers and gave patients Walmart gift cards to submit to free health screenings." Torres was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison (Roebuck, 1/26). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.