A Florida operator of elder-care facilities and its former president agreed to pay a record $17 million to settle claims the company illegally paid doctors for referrals of Medicare patients in need of skilled nursing care.
Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc. and ex-President William Zubkoff operated the kickback scheme from 2006 to 2013, paying physicians as medical directors under false contracts, prosecutors said. Each of the company’s facilities had several such “ghost positions” under contract at any given time, paying them several thousand dollars each month, the U.S. said.
“Most of the medical directors were required to perform few, if any, of their contracted job duties,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer in Miami said Tuesday in a statement. “Instead, they were allegedly paid for their patient referrals to the Hebrew Homes facilities, which increased exponentially once the medical directors were put on the payroll.”
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