Florida man accounts guilty in a scheme that exploits telehealth restrictions

Health and Wellness Informatics News

The U.S Department of Justice says that this laboratory owner of Florida has admitted his role in a conspiracy for $73 million Medicare kickback.

The US. Department of Justice recently came up with the announcement that a Florida-based laboratory owner is guilty. He has pleaded guilty for his prominent role in the Medicare kickback scheme worth $73 that goes against telehealth restrictions.

According to the agency, this conspiracy involves paying a telemedicine company for arranging doctors. However, this ultimately makes doctors involved in the authorization of medically unnecessary genetic testing.

The co-owner of Panda Conservation Group LLC, Leonel Paltanik, has pleaded guilty on account of offering and paying kickbacks. This scheme has also exploited COVID-19 amendments for telehealth restrictions.

These changes intends to safeguard the access to care for the Medicare beneficiaries. However, some fraudsters have used it for their own benefit. However, this was the case according to the agency with Paltanik with his co-conspirators.

Paltanik has admitted to his conspiracy with other Panda co-owners and with Michael Stein. DOJ also said that they had offered 1523 holdings to telehealth providers to access Medicare beneficiaries. This is specific for whom they can bill consultations.

In exchange, these providers went on to agree to refer beneficiaries to the laboratories of Panda to perform expensive and unnecessary cancer and cardiovascular tests.

Paltanik and Stein are facing a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Fraudsters see COVID-19 as an opportunity for money-making. They are creating fraudulent schemes to victimize the beneficiaries. Also, they are stealing from the federal healthcare programs.

The DOJ is working on an effective investigation for such egregious crimes, a result of which is this takedown. They will also continue to support the COVID-19 public health efforts with proper investigation and fraud identification.

Fraud is a rising concern in the future of telehealth. However, it is up to OIG and other healthcare stakeholders to ensure that their promises are not getting compromised.

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