A Miami, Florida woman who owned a home health care company, Elsa Ruiz, recently pleaded guilty for participating in a $74 million Medicare fraud scheme. Ruiz owned Professional Home Care Solutions and was an administrator for home health care company LTC Professional Consultations.
The two companies billed Medicare for medically unnecessary physical therapy sessions and home health care services. Between 2006 and 2012, the health care companies billed Medicare for $74 million in home health care services. The U.S. Department of Justice charged Ruiz with paying kickbacks to patient recruiters.
The Medicare Fraud Strike Force investigated Ruiz and her co-conspirators. The Strike Force is a multi-agency team of federal, state, and local investigators who employ data analysis and community policing techniques to stop Medicare fraud. Since 2007, the team has charged almost 1,900 defendants for fraudulently billing Medicare for more than $6 billion.
Even though regulators have named Medicare fraud as a top priority, it is nearly impossible to combat all fraud without the help of internal whistleblowers who step forward and report illegal activity. At The Cochran Firm, D.C., our team of whistleblower attorneys provide legal representation for individuals who have knowledge of activity that defrauds the government. In order to incentivize whistleblowing that reduces fraud upon the government, the False Claims Act rewards whistleblowers with 15% to 25% of a subsequent settlement or verdict.