The operator of a Los Angeles company is facing federal charges for his alleged participation in a massive telemedicine health care fraud scheme that reached the southern part of Georgia, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Scott M. Hirsch, who ran JI Medical, a durable medical equipment company formerly based in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles, is accused of conspiring to pay kickbacks in exchange for obtaining orders that the company would then bill to Medicare, according to the DOJ.
As part of the scheme, federal prosecutors allege, the physicians receiving kickbacks from JI Medical knowingly signed false medical records describing telephonic “consultations” of Medicare patients.
Hirsch is the 22nd defendant charged in Georgia as part of an investigation that uncovered more than $410 million in alleged phony claims to Medicare, according to the DOJ.
“Telemedicine is an important tool for legitimate providers — but paying kickbacks is not part of telemedicine and will not be tolerated under any circumstances,” said Bobby L. Christine, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
“While many of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners may be working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, this office continues to work day and night to bring bad actors to justice,” Christine said.
Previous charges in the case were brought against eight physicians, two nurse practitioners, two operators of telemedicine companies and two brokers of patient data, according to the DOJ.
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