Jury finds providers guilty of COPD fraud

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

MIAMI - A federal jury on March 7 convicted the owners of two durable medical equipment companies, a home healthcare agency and a physician of Medicare fraud. After a five-week trial, the jury found Maria Hernandez, Marta Jimenez, Maivi Rodriguez and Dr. Ana Caos guilty on all charged accounts, including conspiring to defraud the U.S. government, submitting false claims to Medicare, soliciting and receiving kickbacks, and conspiring to commit healthcare fraud. Their alleged scheme: falsely diagnosing patients with COPD and prescribing unnecessary aerosol medications, including compounded medications delivered by Miami-area pharmacies. Hernandez faces 35 years in prison; Rodriguez and Jiminez 25 years, and Caos 15 years.