Patient Recruiter Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Medicare Fraud

A Louisiana judge sentenced a patient recruiter to 18 months in prison for her part in a scheme that resulted in the submission of more than $21 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Announced in a press release. Karen T. Rayburn also received a sentence of two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution amounting to $3.18 million.

Rayburn worked as a patient recruiter for three Louisiana-based healthcare companies that falsely billed Medicare for durable medical equipment from 2004 to 2009. Along with other recruiters, she gathered information from Medicare beneficiaries and falsified prescriptions for equipment. Rayburn’s participation in the scheme resulted in the fraudulent submission of more than $6 million in claims.

The case was filed and prosecuted through the joint efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division and the Department of Health and Human Services and more specifically, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The Strike Force teams federal, state, and local investigators from various agencies together to combat Medicare Fraud. It was expanded to nine locations, encompassing the Baton Rouge, Louisiana unit that prosecuted this case. According to the DOJ, the Force has charged 1,330 defendants who have falsely billed Medicare for more than four billion dollars.