5 recent legal battles involving telehealth

Below are five legal battles that have been filed by the Justice Department for their connection to telehealth fraud.

The following cases have been covered by Becker's Hospital Review.

  1. The Justice Department charged 138 people, including 42 medical professionals, for their alleged participation in healthcare schemes involving about $1.4 billion in fraudulent billings. Of the $1.4 billion in fake billings, the charges allege $1.1 billion in fraud was committed using telemedicine.

  2. A Florida owner of several telemedicine companies was indicted on charges that he orchestrated a scheme involving the submission of over $784 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare. Creaghan Harry, 53, of Highland Beach, Fla., was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud and four counts of income tax evasion.

  3. Two nurse practitioners were sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution for conspiring to commit telemedicine fraud. Janae Harper, 34, of Kalispell, Mont., was sentenced to 12 months in prison and ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution. Mark Hill, 54, of Edinburg, N.D., received a nine-month prison sentence and was ordered to pay $5.1 million in restitution. The sentences were handed down after both defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.

  4. A Florida lab owner pleaded guilty to a telemedicine scheme. Leonel Palatnik, 42, co-owner of Dallas-based Panda Conservation Group, a medical lab company, pleaded guilty for his role in the $73 million Medicare kickback conspiracy, where he paid kickbacks to a telehealth company in exchange for orders for medically unnecessary genetic testing.

  5. A Kansas anesthesiologist was accused of participating in a kickback scheme that spanned 22 states. Scott Taggart Roethle, MD, is facing 25 counts related to the alleged healthcare fraud. According to the indictment, several telemedicine and marketing companies paid Dr. Roethle illegal kickbacks to sign prescriptions and orders for orthotics, genetic tests and topical creams from 2017-20. 

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