Home health company owner, medical director sentenced for roles in $34M fraud scheme

New Orleans-based Christian Home Health's owner and medical director were sentenced to prison Wednesday for their roles in a $34 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to the Department of Justice.

Company owner Elaine Davis was sentenced to eight years in prison. Pramela Ganji, MD, medical director of Christian Home Health, was sentenced to six years in prison.

Ms. Davis and Dr. Gangi were each convicted in March of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of healthcare fraud.

Evidence introduced at trial showed Dr. Gangi and Ms. Davis caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare for services that were not needed and/or not provided. Ms. Davis paid employees to recruit patients from in and around New Orleans. The new patients' Medicare information was then sent to physicians, including Dr. Ganji, to certify the patients qualified to receive home healthcare services. Evidence introduced at trial showed many of these patients did not qualify for home healthcare services, according to the DOJ.

Christian Home Health submitted $34.4 million in claims to Medicare during the scheme, which ran from 2007 through June 2013, and many of those claims were fraudulent.

A hearing will be held Dec. 7 to determine the amount of restitution owed by Dr. Ganji and Ms. Davis, according to the DOJ.

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