September 23, 2020
Be suspicious of anyone calling you offering “free” braces if you have Medicare, and don’t give out your personal identifying information, including your Medicare number, to anyone you don’t know and trust. Durable medical equipment scams for are happening everyday and costing Medicare millions of dollars. Law enforcement is working fervently to shut the scammers down.
Dr. Richard Davidson (41, Boca Raton) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Davidson has also agreed to forfeit $2,472,087 to the United States, which represents the proceeds he obtained through the commission of the offense.
Davidson and his conspirators established a conglomerate of durable medical equipment (“DME”) supply companies. During the creation of the companies, they lied to Medicare to secure billing privileges. The scheme involved placing the companies in the names of straw owners. By concealing their true ownership, the conspirators secretly gained control of multiple companies, which Medicare prohibits. This enabled the conspirators to submit high volumes of illegal DME claims while attempting to evade law enforcement scrutiny. In one year, through the conglomerate, Davidson and his conspirators submitted more than $20 million in illegal DME claims, resulting in more than $10 million in payments from Medicare and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (“CHAMPVA”).
To attain such high volumes of claims, the conspirators used bribes and kickbacks. Specifically, Davidson and his conspirators illegally purchased thousands of signed doctors’ orders for DME braces from so-called “marketers.” The marketers, for their part, had generated the signed doctors’ orders under the guise of “telemedicine,” but no telemedicine had actually occurred. Instead, the “marketers” had bribed doctors to sign the DME brace orders that supported the illegal claims. Davidson and his conspirators paid millions to secure the illegal DME claims for submission to Medicare and CHAMPVA.
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Source: Department of Justice