Houston physician sentenced to prison for $17M billing fraud

A Houston physician was ordered Nov. 18 to serve five years in prison and to pay $9.5 million in restitution for her part in a $17 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to the Houston Chronicle

The sentencing came about a year after Yolanda Hamilton, MD, was found guilty by a federal jury of participating in a Medicare scheme that involved signing false "plans of care" and other medical documents for home health services that were used to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare. She was convicted of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to solicit and receive healthcare kickbacks and false statement relating to healthcare matters. 

Dr. Hamilton, who owned and operated a medical clinic, allegedly received $30,000 in kickbacks during the four-year scheme that ran from January 2012 to August 2016, according to the U.S Justice Department. Prosecutors alleged that Dr. Hamilton and her co-conspirators submitted more than 2,500 fraudulent claims to Medicare, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

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