Los Angeles Clinic Charged with Fraud
State and federal officials in November arrested the owners of a medical clinic in downtown Los Angeles for fraudulent Medi-Cal and Medicare claims totalling $1.6 million over two years, the Los Angeles Times reports. The three owners of Workplace Industrial Management Clinic were arrested on 37 felony counts and have pleaded not guilty.
According to court documents, homeless Medicare or Medi-Cal beneficiaries were picked up in vans on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles and brought to the clinic two or three times per week. The clinic's medical director -- who police consider an "unwitting victim" in the case -- treated the homeless people.
Prosecutors say the clinic submitted claims for hundreds of homeless people, including 35 who were deceased. Some claims were filed while the medical director was out of the country.
The clinic would pay $30 a day to homeless people as an incentive for the tests, according to a vice president of the Union Rescue Mission (Winton, Los Angeles Times, 12/15).