Owners Of Assisted Living Facilities In Miami Indicted

Oct 26, 2016
Cecily Mariece Caceu / Flickr

Ten owners of assisted-living facilities in Miami-Dade County have been indicted on charges that they received kickbacks for referring residents to a pharmacy for medications and durable medical equipment, state and federal authorities announced Tuesday.

Olympus Corp. of the Americas has agreed to pay $646 million to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle kickback allegations.

Olympus isn’t just a camera company. They’re actually the largest distributor of endoscope and the related gear.

The Florida Bulldog says questions are being raised about the sale of a non-profit Miami-Dade nursing home undergoing a federal whistleblower investigation.

While the publication claims that last year’s sale of the 104-bed Plaza Health Network facility and adjoining properties netted $3 million for its owner and board chairman, the company disputes the 'misleading' allegations.

Broward Health

A prominent Fort Lauderdale cardiologist under investigation for Medicaid and Medicare fraud signed a new contract with Broward Health featuring a pay cut and a new agreement to treat poor patients, the Florida Bulldog reports. 

A federal judge has reduced the punitive damages that a Tampa jury imposed in June on national drug-testing firm Millennium Laboratories after finding that it engaged in unfair competition by breaking anti-kickback laws in Florida and two other states.

But Millennium Labs, based in San Diego, still owes more than $11 million to its rival Ameritox Ltd. after the reduction. In Friday's 29-page order, U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew called Millennium's conduct "fairly reprehensible."

Three of Universal Health Care's top executives -- including president and CEO Dr. A.K. Desai -- required that vendors provide the men with lucrative personal deals on the side before signing contracts, an attorney for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee told the  judge at a hearing covered by the Tampa Bay Times.

Kaiser Health News

After three years and $8.5 million, a team of economists has come to the conclusion that geographic differences in health-care spending are real, both for Medicare and commercial insurers. 

In other words, the gap can't be explained by variations in income, the level of illness, or some other rational factor, the report says. For example, Medicare patients aren't sicker in super-expensive South Florida than anywhere else.  There are just more bills being sent to Medicare from South Florida than most places.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has accused a handful of Tallahassee doctors who they say enjoyed lavish parties and took thousands of dollars in kickbacks from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., the Tampa Bay Times reports.  The lawsuit says the doctors defrauded Medicaid by overprescribing Novartis drugs.  

Naples Daily News

A federal judge has thrown out a complaint by a former hospital executive at Physicians Regional in Collier County against the parent corporation Health Management Associates, the Naples Daily News reports. The suit had alleged the hospital system of paying kickbacks to doctors for referrals, but the judge ruled there was not enough evidence to proceed to trial.