Tracy Nemerofsky and her father, Stephen Nemerofsky, will pay $1.65 million to settle allegations of illegal patient referrals, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The two were accused of paying spouses of physicians for fake marketing jobs in order to induce patient referrals to the Nemerofskys’ home health business, A Plus. The scheme allegedly began in 2006, with its success resulting in Tracy’s salary of $685,000 in 2010 due to the increased revenue.
The DOJ noted that the home health market is heavily saturated in southern Florida, so the duo hired at least seven physicians’ spouses and one physician’s boyfriend to perform “marketing duties” for A Plus. In reality, the DOJ alleged that there were few, if any, duties and the jobs were a reward for Medicare patient referrals by the physicians. Low numbers of referrals by two physicians led to their spouses’ termination from A Plus by Tracy Nemerofsky.
“Kickback schemes undermine the integrity of our public health care programs,” said U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer for the Southern District of Florida. “The settlement announced today holds A Plus accountable for its submission of false claims, including restoring funds paid as a result of the false claims to Medicare.” The case began after William Guthrie, the former director of development at A Plus, brought a qui tam case against the business. The United States intervened in the case. Guthrie’s share of the settlement has not been calculated.