Former medical biller sentenced to 11 years for role in $63M fraud scheme

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Nery Cowan, of Miami, has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for her role in a $63 million healthcare fraud scheme involving now-defunct Greater Miami Behavorial Healthcare Center, a partial hospitalization program.

While serving as a consultant and medical biller for Greater Miami, Ms. Cowan admitted she directed and authorized the payment of bribes and kickbacks to "patient brokers" in exchange for Medicare beneficiary referrals. The "patient brokers" solicited Medicare beneficiaries from halfway houses, drug courts and assisted living facilities, according to the Department of Justice.

Ms. Cowan admitted Greater Miami personnel routinely falsified the medical records associated with these recruited patients to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare. From 2006 through 2014, Greater Miami billed Medicare approximately $63 million for purported health services.

In addition to her prison sentence, Ms. Cowan was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

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