Lady Doctor Put Away for Stealing Nearly $12,000,000
The evidence at trial showed that none of the services that were billed to Medicare and Medicaid were provided or supervised by a doctor, or by a licensed physical therapist.
In the city of Jackson a physician’s conviction in a $12,000,000 insurance fraud scheme has been upheld by a federal appeals court in New Orleans.
Doctor Cassandra Thomas had been found guilty of 10 charges by a federal jury in 2011. She was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Her conviction was upheld Thursday by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prosecutors said Thomas operated Central Mississippi Physical Medicine from 2002-2005, an in-home physical therapy provider for Medicare patients.
They were able to prove that Thomas falsely billed Medicare and Medicaid for medically unreasonable and unnecessary physical therapy services; failed to directly supervise the administration of the physical therapy; and hired unlicensed staff to administer the physical therapy.
Thomas sent the unlicensed employees to the homes of elderly to provide “physical therapy services.” She then billed Medicare at skilled medical professional rates, while the employees themselves were paid on average just over $11 an hour, according to court records.
The government said Thomas also inflated the amount of hours she billed Medicare, billing for several hours a day of services when the employees only spent about an hour with each patient.
In her appeal, Thomas argued there was no intent on her part to submit fraudulent claims. She argues that she didn’t know Medicaid expected her to be in the home of each patient.