Man allegedly used Pennsylvania hospital for $25M Medicare scam

A Florida man was charged July 27 with conspiracy involving $25 million in fraudulent Medicare claims submitted by Ellwood City (Pa.) Medical Center, according to the Justice Department

Daniel Hurt, 58, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged in a criminal information filed in federal court. He is charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, pay and receive unlawful kickbacks and engage in money laundering. 

Mr. Hurt and his co-conspirators allegedly acquired thousands of cancer genomic testing samples from Medicare beneficiaries across the U.S. He allegedly caused the samples to be sent to Ellwood City Medical Center and used the hospital as the billing entity for Medicare purposes. Mr. Hurt allegedly required hospital staff to repackage the samples and send them to outside laboratories for testing since the hospital did not have equipment that was properly validated to conduct cancer genomic testing, according to the Justice Department. 

Mr. Hurt and his co-conspirators allegedly obtained cancer genomic testing prescriptions from telemedicine physicians to justify Medicare reimbursement. The physicians, who were not qualified to interpret the test results, did not conduct proper telemedicine visits, were not treating the Medicare beneficiaries for cancer and did not use the test results in the treatment of the beneficiaries, the Justice Department said. 

Mr. Hurt allegedly caused Ellwood City Medical Center to submit more than $12,000 in cancer genomic testing claims per beneficiary to Medicare. Medicare reimbursed the hospital more than $25 million for the testing during the first 10 months of 2019. 

Hospital staff allegedly transferred millions of dollars from hospital-related accounts to bank accounts controlled by Mr. Hurt. He allegedly used the funds to pay millions of dollars in kickbacks to marketers who helped obtain the cancer genomic testing samples. 

Mr. Hurt faces up to five years in prison, according to the Justice Department. He indicated July 28 that he will plead guilty in the case, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mr. Hurt, who was slated to be arraigned Aug. 4, is waiving indictment and will admit his crimes at a date to be set by U.S. District Judge W. Scott Hardy, according to the report.  

Ellwood City Medical Center closed in late 2019.

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