Former TX administrator convicted of healthcare fraud, anti-kickback violations

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A former nursing home administrator was found guilty of receiving illegal payments for referring residents for fraudulent ambulance transport services.

A federal jury in Houston convicted defendant Kelvin Washington on 10 counts of healthcare fraud, violating anti-kickback statutes, and conspiracy on Dec. 8. The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas said Washington conspired with managers of Americare Ambulance Service to provide fraudulent ambulance transport prescriptions that were approved by facility physicians. While the residents did need dialysis, many of the prescriptions were for residents who had never been admitted to the Sugar Land facility or were no longer there.

Employees from Americare Ambulance Service then billed Medicare and Medicaid $1.2 million for the services, which resulted in $450,000 paid to the ambulance company. AAS paid Washington $22,000 over four years.

Washington will be sentenced on Feb. 23, 2012 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each of the three anti-kickback violations, and a maximum of five years for the one conviction of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Additionally, he also faces up to 10 years for each of the six convictions of health care fraud. Each of the 10 counts for which he was convicted also carries a possible $250,000 fine.