Hospice administrator sentenced for role in fraud scheme

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A Southern California hospice administrator was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme, the Department of Justice said Feb. 19. 

Antonio Olivera pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud in November 2020. In his guilty plea, Mr. Olivera admitted to paying kickbacks to patient recruiters who referred patients to Mhiramarc Management, the Downey, Calif.-based hospice organization where he was the administrator. Mr. Olivera also admitted to taking actions that put patients on hospice service even when clinical staff determined they didn't qualify for it.

During the scheme, Mhiramarc submitted $28 million in claims to Medicare, resulting in overpayments of $17 million. 

Three co-conspirators have also pleaded guilty in the scheme and await sentencing.

In addition to his sentencing, Mr. Olivera was ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution. 

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