RX for fraud

Medical identity theft growing exponentially

Medical identity theft is the fastest-growing form of identity fraud.  Crooks use a myriad of ways to defraud federal governments and vulnerable patients. Here are the schemes and ways to avoid becoming a victim.

Babubhai Bhurabhai Rathod, of Okemos, Michigan, said he was addicted to drugs. But he was lying. He was really addicted to medical identity theft.

In 2013, Rathod was sentenced to four years in prison after a conviction of paying practitioners illegal kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals to his health care companies, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). And he was further excluded from participating in Medicare and Medicaid.

Apparently, he had no desire to reform. While in prison, Rathod faked a drug and alcohol use disorder to qualify for admission into the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). Rathod completed the RDAP and was released early from custody. Within days of his release in 2016, he began violating his exclusion and supervised release conditions by operating four health care providers across the State of Michigan.

To conceal his ownership of these providers from Medicare and Medicaid, Rathod used a variety of aliases, straw owners and shell holding companies that were registered to other people. Rathod’s scheme netted nearly a million dollars in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to which his providers weren’t entitled.

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