The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the sentences for two New York diagnostic testing facility owners. New York officials announced the charges against the two, a married couple, for various healthcare fraud crimes including the payment of over $18 million in illegal kickbacks back in 2019.
It took over three years for the case to move forward with the sentence officially announced earlier this month. This serves as an example of how complex these cases are, often taking years from charges to resolution — not even including the initial investigation period that lead up to the charge.
What were the allegations?
The government argued the owners provided financial compensation in exchange for referrals. The government accused the lab owners of ordering and completing medically unnecessary diagnostic tests. The prosecution also claimed the accused offered kickbacks to Medicaid recipients to come into the lab and agree to get these tests. According to their argument, the group would pay individuals $20 to $50 each in exchange for agreeing to get the testing and then bill Medicaid for the tests.
It is also important to note that healthcare fraud charges were only a portion of the allegations. The government also moved forward with additional charges built off these allegations including tax crimes for failing to report business income and wrongfully taking deductions.
What are the penalties?
Allegations of healthcare fraud are serious and can come with more than just stiff financial penalties. As this case shows, the government can also push for, and receive, prison time for the accused. The DOJ recently announced that for this case the court sentenced the two diagnostic lab owners each to three years imprisonment for these crimes.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication