KeepHealthCare.ORG – 9 more medical professionals charged in Pacific Hospital health care fraud scheme – Press Telegram
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced nine more doctors will face federal charges tied to their alleged roles in a now $950 million healthcare scheme centered around Pacific Hospital in Long Beach.
Daniel Capen, Timothy Hunt, George Hammer, Lauren Papa, Tiffany Rogers, William Parker, Brian Carrico and two companies Carrico partially owns – Performance Medical & Rehab Center and One Accord Management, Inc. join nine other defendants accused of playing a part in a 15-year-long scheme that federal prosecutors say involved more than $40 million in illegal kickbacks for medical professionals.
In exchange, the medical professionals referred thousands of patients who received surgeries and other services at Pacific Hospital. The total in inflated billings is reported at $950 million.
“Health care fraud schemes cost Americans billions of dollars every year through higher premiums and tax money stolen from public programs, such as Medicare,” said First Assistant United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “There is an incredible array of scams, some of which involve services that are simply never provided, and some of which use complicated and sophisticated ruses to conceal illegal acts, such as bribes.”
According to prosecutors, orthopedic surgeon Capen, 68, of Manhattan Beach has accounted for about $142 million of Pacific Hospital’s claims to insurers, of which he was paid about $56 million. He has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and illegal kickback charges.
Palos Verdes Estates resident Hunt, 53, has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge involving his receipt of illegal kickbacks stemming from various financial relationships with Pacific Hospital. The orthopedic surgeon referred spinal surgery patients to Capen and other doctors.
The former chief financial officer of the physician management arm of Pacific Hospital, Hammer, 65, of Palm Desert has agreed to plead guilty to tax charges based on the fraudulent classification of illegal kickbacks in hospital-related corporate tax filings.
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Chiropractor Papa, 52 of Tarzana has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge involving her receipt of illegal kickbacks to refer patients to a neurosurgeon with knowledge that neurosurgeon would perform the surgeries at Pacific Hospital.
Rogers, 53, an orthopedic surgeon living in Palos Verdes Estates, was named in an indictment unsealed Wednesday in connection with receiving illegal kickbacks to refer patients for spinal surgeries at Pacific Hospital.
Carrico, 64, of Redondo Beach, and the two companies he partially owns were charged in connection with the receipt of illegal kickbacks to influence the referral of patients to Pacific Hospital. Prosecutors allege he and the companies, as well as other co-conspirators, were responsible for $80 million in claims submitted to the federal workers’ compensation program and were paid about $56 million in connection with patients that were referred to Pacific Hospital by Performance Medical.
Parker, 64, of Redondo Beach was charged in a separate indictment Wednesday in connection with the same kickback scheme involving Carrico and his companies.
The nine new defendants will be summoned to appear for arraignments in United States District Court Santa Ana next month, authorities said.