With a little under two weeks to go before Christmas Day, the entire Allegiant Experts team would like to take this opportunity to offer everyone a very happy holiday season! Of course, it’s the time of year when giving gifts is a big part of our traditions with our loved ones. We hope that you all enjoy the spirit of giving even more than the excitement of getting the gifts you’re likely to receive.

In our line of work, we come across far too many individuals who much prefer to get than to give. And, as you’re aware, the Allegiant Experts Blog stays on top of the many instances of getting that occur throughout the medical industry in the United States. To be perfectly honest, using the term “getting” is putting it much too mildly. “Stealing”, “robbing” and “bilking” are a lot more appropriate.

Health care fraud in the U.S. is far too rampant.

Detra Wiley Pate is just one of the latest individuals who have proven that there is an abundance of fraudulent takers in the medical world. The owner and CEO of Southern Respiratory LLC, a medical equipment company in Thomson, Georgia, Pate was found guilty of no less than 33 counts including health care fraud this past Tuesday. Among the other counts were conspiracy to commit health care fraud and aggravated identity theft.

As reported by the Augusta Chronicle courtesy of the Southern District of Georgia branch of the United States Department of Justice, Pate’s crimes date back to 2014 and were carried out through to 2016. Her scheme involved charging Medicare for items that were never provided to patients and never ordered by a physician.

False claims to Medicare were submitted in the thousands.

“Pate submitted thousands of false claims, fabricated patient files, and falsified prescriptions from doctors for items such as heavy-duty wheelchairs while providing much cheaper standard wheelchairs to patients – and pocketing the substantial difference in cost,” the report informs, “Pate used the money she stole from Medicare through this fraud to pay for jewelry, including a 1.5 carat diamond and a Rolex watch, according to the release.”

The jury deliberated for less than five hours before finding Pate guilty of her crimes. While a sentencing date has not yet been set, Pate faces a sentence of up to 10 years for each count of the indictment. She also faces an additional sentence of at least two years on the eight charges of aggravated identity theft.

Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine had this to say about the sentencing: “Health care fraud, particularly that which targets the insurance system for elderly and vulnerable patients, is despicable. Clearly, the jury saw the depth to which such fraud can reach in finding overwhelming guilt in this case.”

Are you an attorney currently trying a health care fraud case?

Please don’t hesitate to contact Allegiant Experts to find out how our clinical expertise may help you. Our experts have been providing expert clinical services for over 15 years and can help your team by bridging the disciplines of medicine, coding and billing to ensure accurate payment and data is achieved. Call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at info@allegiantexperts.com.