Former Missouri physician pleads guilty to role in Medicare, Medicaid fraud scheme

A former Joplin, Mo., physician pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make false healthcare statements for his involvement in a scheme in which he signed orders for products and tests for more than 2,000 Medicare and Medicaid patients he never met or examined. 

Oluwatobi Alabi Yerokun, MD, 36, participated in a scheme involving marketing, physician recruiting and telemedicine companies, according to a Sept. 21 Justice Department news release. 

Dr. Yerokun contracted with a telemedicine provider, which gave him access to electronic portals to receive information about patients assigned to him, according to the release. He reviewed the information and electronically signed the forms stating that durable medical equipment or genetic tests were medically necessary. In many cases, less than a minute elapsed between when he accessed the information and signed the orders. Dr. Yerokun did not communicate with the patients before or after the equipment and tests were ordered. 

He ordered equipment or tests for Medicare beneficiaries between March 2019 and April 2021, according to the release. The telemedicine company paid him $20 for each order signed, for a total of $44,860. 

The orders he signed for the durable medical equipment caused Medicare to be billed more than $6.2 million, of which Medicare paid about $3.1 million, the release stated. The orders he signed for genetic testing caused Medicaid to be billed more than $2.5 million, of which Medicaid paid about $525,000. 

Dr. Yerokun faces up to five years in prison, according to the release. 

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