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A Few Gaps

Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Steven Richardson, was a businessman whose ventures, Expansion Media and Hybrid Management Group, were designed ostensibly to bridge gaps in the healthcare market. Gaps that are the result of a poorly designed system unable to respond to patient demographics or technology innovations. Now is the time to act surprised that the U.S. healthcare system is anything less than perfect. Because these gaps are actually conduits to fraud. From March 2016 to January 2023, Steven Richardson orchestrated a chain of complicity, from the telemarketers to medical staffing companies, that resulted in a $110 million telemedicine fraud scheme which preyed on Medicare beneficiaries. All because of a few gaps.

Richardson’s intricate scheme first started with telemarketing companies that were employed to cold-call Medicare beneficiaries. These beneficiaries, often elderly and in need of genuine medical assistance, were pitched medically unnecessary durable medical equipment (DME). These telemarketing companies then paid Richardson’s businesses on a per-order basis to create orders for the equipment. But the deceit didn’t end with the cold calls! To prosper as a fraudster, Richardson needed signatures on the fraudulent orders.

A signed order indicates that the clinician has performed a legitimate examination of the beneficiary and found(in this case) the orthotics to be medically necessary. Richardson worked with medical staffing companies to find clinicians willing to review and sign the prepopulated orders without having any contact with the Medicare beneficiaries. These hired hands with a nod and wink from Richardson, rubber stamped the orders for fancy medical braces without so much as a phone call.

The final link in this fraudulent chain was the equipment suppliers, who, armed with the signed orders from Robinson, billed Medicare for the unnecessary DME. And the U.S. taxpayer got the bill! All because of a few gaps.

On February 16, 2024, Richardson pled guilty to Medicare fraud. Excellent job by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on article “Medicare’s $110M Misery, Telemed Tycoon Tangles With Feds in Florida Fraud Fiasco” published by Hoodline on February 16, 2024. A massive $110 million sham has landed a telemedicine tycoon in the hot seat with the feds. Steven Richardson, a 40-year-old from Parkland, Florida, is the big fish who’s agreed to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

This telemed trickster, through his firms Expansion Media and Hybrid Management Group, orchestrated a convoluted scheme, targeting unsuspecting Medicare beneficiaries and cashing in on needless medical gear that most of them never actually needed, as per court documents obtained by the Department of Justice.

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