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Medicare Fraud Snags Agency Owner

The co-owner of a Miami home health agency was sentenced to 70 months in prison for fraudulently providing therapy to Medicare recipients.

Between 2008 and 2014, Annarella Garcia’s Professional Medical Home Health received approximately $6.25 million in fraudulent Medicare claims, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the 44-year-old Hialeah resident and her staff would pay kickbacks to patient recruiters. They would falsify patient records to make it appear as if the Medicare beneficiaries qualified for home health services.

In addition to the prison sentence, Garcia was ordered to pay $6.2 million in restitution, the Justice Department said.

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.