4 healthcare execs charged in $55M scheme after Texas hospital CEO pleads guilty

Four Texas healthcare executives have been charged in a billing scheme that already resulted in a guilty plea from the former CEO of Palo Pinto General Hospital in Mineral Wells, Texas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 

Harris Brooks, the former CEO of Palo Pinto General, pleaded guilty in March 2019 to defrauding BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare out of millions of dollars. Prosecutors alleged he and his co-conspirators submitted more than $55 million in claims, most of which were fraudulent, to insurers for laboratory services from September 2017 through June 2018. 

A federal grand jury recently indicted four others in the alleged billing scheme. Steven Berglund and Aaron Cerpanya, co-owners of Elite Healthcare in Farmers Branch, Texas, were indicted along with Adam Garder and Cody Waddell, founders of MedHealth Solutions in Fort Worth, Texas, according to the report. 

According to court documents, the alleged scheme involved submitting claims to in-network insurance companies for genetic and allergy testing that was purportedly performed at Palo Pinto General Hospital. However, the hospital did not have the equipment to perform the tests, and patients allegedly received treatment at various clinics throughout Texas and in other states. 

Last year, Mr. Brooks was sentenced to five years of probation and fined $2.4 million, according to the report. 

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:
Feds charge Baltimore lawyer with $25M hospital extortion plan
4 South Carolina physicians charged in $100M billing fraud case
Pennsylvania physician pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in patient's death

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