Physician who claimed to have 11,000 patients could spend rest of life behind bars

A federal jury in Dallas found Jacques Roy, MD, guilty Wednesday in what is believed to be the nation's largest home healthcare fraud involving a single physician.

Federal prosecutors said Dr. Roy and his cohorts used promises of cash, groceries and food stamps to recruit patients, including some of Dallas' homeless, as part of the $375 million fraud scheme.

From January 2006 to November 2011, Dr. Roy's office, Medistat Group Associates in DeSoto, Texas, handled more home healthcare visits than any physician's office in the country. Dr. Roy allegedly certified or directed the certification of more than 11,000 individual patients from more than 500 home healthcare agencies for home health services during that time, according to the Department of Justice.

"A doctor cannot care for 11,000 patients at once," Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl said during the trial, according to The Dallas Morning News

A data analysis targeting suspicious billing put Dr. Roy on HHS' Office of Inspector General's radar.

At trial, prosecutors said Dr. Roy had a full-time forgery operation in place where people were hired to sign his name to patients' medical documents. Nurses also allegedly falsified medical documents as part of the scheme.

Robert Scardino, Dr. Roy's lawyer, claims his client ran a legitimate business that made house calls. Mr. Scardino said a tracking device put on Dr. Roy's car by the FBI showed that Dr. Roy saw more than 1,000 patients during a four-month period, according to the report.

On Wednesday, Dr. Roy, who has lost his medical license, was found guilty on eight counts of healthcare fraud, two counts of making a false statement relating to healthcare matters, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Three owners of home healthcare agencies were also convicted on various felony offenses.

Each conspiracy and healthcare fraud count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The obstruction of justice count and each false statement count carry a maximum penalty of five years.

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