Over $4 Million in Fraud Was Committed at Two Hospice Care Facilities in San Bernardino County by 14 People!
Fourteen persons have been charged in connection with a hospice scam operating out of San Bernardino County that robbed Medicare and Medi-Cal of over $4 million.
The charges were announced Thursday by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, with the scheme involving two hospice care facilities in the Inland Empire.
“We asserted that these 14 people colluded to defraud the Medicare and Medical-Cal systems of over $4.2 million,” Bonta stated.
The institutions, New Hope Hospice in Upland and Sterling Hospice Care in Colton, reportedly recruited patients, some of whom were unaware of or unfamiliar with hospice.
According to Bonta, many of the patients were not terminally sick, which jeopardised their health by restricting their access to medical care.
“Once a patient is registered in hospice care, they are no longer eligible for life-prolonging medical therapy,” Bonta explained.
In comparison to other states, how did California manage its unemployment crisis? In 2020, the amount of unemployment benefits stolen from California taxpayers may exceed $8 billion, four times the amount projected only one month ago.
The fraud was uncovered in 2015 after an inquiry into an unlawful board and care facility, during which it was discovered that patients had been enrolled in hospice care.
The investigation uncovered a network of bribes paid to attract patients and billing problems used to evade discovery.
Bonta asserts that the illicit plan was extremely lucrative.
“They were compensated for services they never delivered,” Bonta stated. “As a result, they were able to earn a substantial profit with no costs and no overhead, as they were not providing hospice treatment but were receiving full payment from the government.”
Each of the 14 suspects has been arrested and charged with several offences, including insurance fraud conspiracy, grand theft, and submitting false insurance claims. Additionally, some defendants face allegations of identity theft, money laundering, and tax evasion.