Promises, Promises

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It is common for deceptive medical professionals to offer treatments or cures to Medicaid or Medicare patients, then bill the government insurance programs for services that were not medically necessary or not provided. A former Philadelphia-area podiatrist, who took a Hippocratic Oath promising to “do no harm” to his patients, not only created the potential for harm to occur to his patients, but also stole from the federal government by submitting nearly $5 million in fraudulent claims.

Over seven years, the foot doctor submitted the fraudulent claims to Medicaid, Medicare and four private insurance companies. (Perhaps the fraudster figured that no one had time to analyze every little bill or claim that was submitted for reimbursement. Well, he was wrong.)

The former 59-year-old podiatrist pleaded guilty to almost $5 million in health care fraud. He will serve eight years in prison plus three years of supervised release. In addition, he will pay $4,960,295 in restitution to Medicaid, Medicare and the private insurers. (That must hurt worse than a bone spur coupled with plantar fasciitis.)

This criminal was one of 301 people charged in a nationwide Medicare-fraud bust that occurred across 36 federal districts and amounted to $900 million in fraudulent payments. This type of fraud preys upon underprivileged patients who are relying upon their doctors’ promises to receive relief from painful conditions or treatment for injuries. While this deceptive podiatrist did not keep his promise to his patients to heal them, the government kept its promise to protect its health care program beneficiaries.

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Havertown podiatrist sentenced to 8 years in $5M health-care fraud,” posted by Philly.com on February 7, 2017.

A former Delaware County podiatrist was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to nearly $5 million in health-care fraud, an amount he must now pay back.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia said Stephen A. Monaco, of A Foot Above Podiatry in Havertown, submitted fraudulent bills to Medicare and Medicaid for that amount for podiatric procedures that were not performed or ones that were not medically necessary between January 2008 and Oct. 31, 2014.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.