Addiction treatment center owners sentenced to prison in $112M fraud scheme

Two brothers who operated a pair of South Florida addiction treatment facilities were sentenced to prison March 21 for a $112 million billing fraud scheme.

Jonathan Markovich and Daniel Markovich were sentenced to 188 months and 97 months in prison, respectively, according to a Justice Department news release.

A federal jury found the brothers guilty of conspiring to bill for $112 million worth of addiction treatment services that were medically unnecessary or were never provided. The brothers operated an inpatient detox and residential facility as well as a related outpatient treatment facility.

The brothers found patients from recruiters who offered illegal kickbacks to patients, including free airline tickets, drugs and cash, according to the release. They shuffled the core group of patients between the two facilities in a cycle of admissions and readmissions to fraudulently bill for as much money as possible.

Recruiters gave patients illegal drugs prior to admission to ensure admittance for detox, which was the most expensive treatment offered at the brothers’ facilities, according to the release.

Therapy sessions were billed for but not regularly provided or attended, according to the release. Medically unnecessary urinalysis drug tests were ordered, billed for and paid. Detox facility patients were given a so-called “comfort drink” to sedate them and keep them coming back. Patients were also given potentially harmful amounts of controlled substances to keep them compliant and ensure they stayed at the facility.

Source: Addiction treatment center owners sentenced to prison in $112M fraud scheme / Becker’s Hospital Review

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