More Fraud in Detroit; Home Health Recruiter Arrested

A Detroit-area home health agency recruiter will face criminal charges that he participated in a health care fraud scheme that resulted in $2.7 million in improper Medicare payments. Javed Akhtar served as a patient recruiter for two agencies in Wayne, Michigan that purported to provide home health services to Medicare beneficiaries. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Akhtar was arrested on November 5, 2014.

Allegations

The complaint alleges that Akhtar served as a recruiter for Life Choice Home Health Care, LLC and Angle’s Touch Home Health Care, LLC. Akhtar is accused of paying illegal kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for information and signatures required to file claims. He then filed claims with Medicare for procedures that were medically unnecessary or never provided.

Detroit-Area Fraud

The case was brought, in part, by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, an interagency group that targets Medicare fraud, with operations in nine cities across the country, including Detroit, Michigan. Recently, a Strike Force investigation led to the imprisonment of another Detroit-area home health worker. This appears to be part of a trend, as CMS instituted moratoria on the enrollment of new suppliers and ambulance services in various metropolitan areas, including the Detroit metropolitan area, in February 2014, due to a high incidence of fraud and abuse. The moratoria were extended until February 2015.