Federal and state agents with the Office of Inspector General Office of Investigations and Texas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit last week arrested a Houston, Texas area nursing home administrator on an indictment charging conspiracy, healthcare fraud and anti-kickback violations.
Kelvin Washington, 47, of Houston, is accused in the 10-count indictment of having received payments for the referral of dialysis patients to a Houston ambulance transport service between 2003 and 2007. Washington is also accused of conspiring with others to have unsuspecting doctors sign transport prescriptions for dialysis patients allegedly admitted to the yet unnamed facility where Washington works.
The indictment alleges these patients were never admitted to the nursing home, despite Washington seeking prescriptions for them.
According to the indictment, Medicare and Medicaid were billed almost $1 million in false claims as a result of Washington’s alleged conduct. He allegedly received $20,000 for his role in the kickback scheme, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
The maximum penalty for violating the healthcare fraud statute is 10 years imprisonment. Violation of the conspiracy statute or the anti-kickback statute is a maximum of five years in prison. The 10 counts charged carry a maximum fine of $250,000, the United States Attorney’s Office said.