The risk of Covid-19 during the pandemic made it unsafe for non-Covid 19 medical care, thus the invention of telemedicine care. Doctors worked from home meeting patients on line to administer medical care. But like so many other Covid-19 programs and newly formed businesses organized to help ease the burden of the pandemic, telemedical care was unregulated and abused. A perfect environment for Dr. Oluwatobi Alabi Yerokun to do what he specialized in…fraud.
Yerokun contracted with a staffing company to work as a telemedicine provider in February 2019. The firm gave him access to electronic portals so that he could receive information about the patients assigned to him. But there was no “doctoring” on Yerokun’s part. He never actually met the patients. Yerokun reviewed the information on line and electronically signed the patient forms and orders for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with little or no contact with the patients to confirm patient information to be accurate or complete.
If there was any questions to Yerokun’s intention to give care for these patients, one only has to look at the time he spent on each patient. The time between when Yerokun accessed the Patients information through the electronic portal and when he signed the order for durable medical equipment or genetic testing, was on average, less than a minute.
Yerokun got paid approximately $20 for each order that he signed, for a total of $44,860. At 1 minute per claim, (or $20 per fraud! However you want to look at it!) that is about 37 hours of total work by Yerokun. Not a bad for one week of work.
Yerokun pleaded guilty in court on September 22, 2022. The orders that Yerokun signed in fraudulent claims caused Medicare to be billed more than $6.2 million and Medicaid to be billed more than $2.5 million.
Great job by the Department of Health and Human Services with this investigation.
Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article “Doctor admits to fraud involving more than 2,000 patients” published by Salina Post on September 22, 2022
A former physician pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to falsely certifying that products and tests were medically necessary for more than 2,000 Medicare and Medicaid patients in Missouri whom he never met or examined, according to the United State’s Attorney.
“This physician violated his oath and abused his trusted position to support a fraud scheme that cost taxpayers millions of dollars,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. “He will be held accountable for the specific and essential role he played in the deceit as the larger investigation into other aspects of this criminal scheme unfolds in other courtrooms across the nation.”
Oluwatobi Alabi Yerokun, 36, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to one count of conspiracy to make false statements related to health care matters.