A South Florida woman has pleaded guilty to involvement in several health care fraud schemes that cost the Medicare program an estimated $20 million in losses.
Former Merfi Corp. clinic owner Isabel Medina pleaded guilty Tuesday in Miami federal court to health care fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence. The 49-year-old Medina will be sentenced in March.
Federal prosecutors say Merfi received kickbacks and bribes from home health care agencies in return for fake prescriptions and phony medical documents. Those documents were used to bill Medicare for costly physical therapy and other services that were not necessary or never provided.
"Medina has acknowledged that her involvement in fraudulent schemes at multiple home health care companies, including Flores Home Health, resulted in losses to the Medicare Program exceeding $20 million," the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Tuesday.
The case was prosecuted by the federal Medicare Strike Force, which has charged about 1,700 people in nine cities who fraudulently billed Medicare for $5.5 billion.