Over the last several months, law enforcement authorities in a neighboring state have arrested and charged 20 individuals who allegedly participated in a health care fraud scheme. A 77-count indictment was recently filed in federal court against the employees at Eye for Change Youth and Family Services for their supposed involvement in defrauding Medicaid. Why does this case matter? Health care workers in Michigan could easily find themselves in this situation.
Authorities say that from early 2017 until Sept. 2020, the employees at Eye for Change billed Medicaid for services not performed. They are accused of purposely misdiagnosing patients and making fictitious claims to bill Medicaid and bill at increased rates. After the indictments were filed, the defendants have been told they need to forfeit roughly $2.3 million in assets seized since the case began. The trial is scheduled for the end of the year unless plea agreements are reached first.
The defendants are a mix of both men and women, ages 24 to 52. According to reports, several of the accused were indicted in Nov. 2020, and the rest were indicted at the end of May 2021. They are charged with health care fraud, money laundering and making false statements concerning health care matters — among other things. If convicted, they are looking at hefty fines and time behind bars. Those with professional licenses stand to lose those as well.
What can they do?
In cases involving Medicaid fraud, whether they happen in Michigan or elsewhere, the accused have a couple of options. They can choose to fight the charges, in which case they’ll go to trial. They can also choose to enter plea agreements, if offered, which could minimize any consequences associated with a conviction. Legal counsel can help each individual determine the best route to take for their specific circumstances and assist them in achieving the best outcomes possible.