Millicent Traylor, MD, a physician working in the Detroit area, was sentenced to 135 months in prison for her role in a scheme to defraud Medicare of roughly $8.9 million, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced.
Traylor, 47, was convicted in May 2018 of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks, and five counts of healthcare fraud, following a 4-day trial.
Traylor's codefendant, Muhammad Qazi, 48, from Oakland Township, Michigan, was sentenced to 42 months in prison back in August; her codefendant Christina Kimbrough, MD, 39, from Canton, Michigan, was sentenced to 27 months in prison in September; and her other codefendant, Jacklyn Price, 34, from Shelby, Michigan, is awaiting sentencing. Qazi, Price, and Kimbrough each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
Based on evidence presented at trial, Traylor and her coconspirators engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare of approximately $8.9 million through fraudulent home healthcare and physician claims.
"The evidence showed that Traylor, who was unlicensed at the time, acted as a physician for these companies, providing services that were not medically necessary and that were billed to Medicare as if they were provided by a licensed physician," the DOJ said in a news release.
The evidence further showed that Traylor conspired to cause Medicare to be billed for services that were not provided. Traylor and her coconspirators falsified medical records and signed false documents to make it appear that these services were medically necessary and actually provided, the DOJ said.
Traylor and her coconspirators also paid and received kickbacks in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to serve as patients at the clinics. Traylor also fraudulently signed the names of licensed physicians on prescriptions for opioid painkillers as a way to get patients to participate in the scam, the DOJ said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under supervision by the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in 12 cities across the country, has charged nearly 4000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion.
Medscape Medical News © 2018
Cite this: Detroit Doc Gets Over 11 Years in Jail for $8.9M Medicare Scam - Medscape - Oct 03, 2018.