Indian American therapist found guilty of medicare fraud

Washington DC(AFP): A 30-year-old Indian-American physical therapist along with a patient recruiter has been convicted in a US $1.6 million Medicare fraud scheme, federal prosecutors said.

Rajan Patel of Clinton Township in Michigan has been found guilty yesterday of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, three counts of health care fraud, and three counts of making false statements relating to health care matters. Co-conspirator Reginald Smith, 54, a patient recruiter, has been found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to solicit and receive health care kickbacks.
Four other individuals charged in this case pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with their roles in the fraud scheme. Sentencing hearings are scheduled mid-April.

According to evidence presented at trial, Smith worked as a patient recruiter for Angle’s Touch Home Health Care LLC (Angle’s Touch) in 2011 and 2012 and solicited patients for foot care services at adult foster care homes.
Smith then referred the patients to Angle’s Touch for medically unnecessary home health care services in exchange for kickbacks. The kickbacks were disguised as payments to Smith’s nonprofit Medicare provider, People Helping People of Detroit.

Patel worked as a physical therapist at Angle’s Touch. According to the evidence, Patel and others recruited patients from an adult daycare center in Flint, Michigan. Patel then fabricated patient medical records to make it appear that the recruited patients qualified for and received the home health care services, when they did not. Evidence presented at trial showed that Medicare paid Angle’s Touch over USD 1.6 million in the course of the conspiracy.