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Home Health Owner Pleads in $74M Fraud

The owner of a Miami home health care company pleaded guilty for her connection to a $74 million Medicare fraud scheme.

The U.S. Department of Justicesaid Elsa Ruiz, owner of Professional Home Care Solutions Inc. and administrator of Miami’s LTC Professional Consultants Inc., admitted in federal court on Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Between 2006 and 2012, Ruiz and others who worked at the homes billed Medicare for physical therapy, home health care and other services that were not medically necessary or were not provided, according to court documents.

Ruiz reportedly oversaw the scheme that paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters. Claims worth $74 million were filed during the period in question. Medicare paid the homes for about $45 million, the Justice Department said.

Ruiz, 45, will be sentenced in October.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.