Gastroenterologist guilty of participating in $16M Medicare fraud scheme

Houston gastroenterologist Yolanda Hamilton, MD, was found guilty of participating in a $16 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to a Department of Justice release.

What you should know:

1. Dr. Hamilton was convicted on Oct. 7 of one count of committing healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to solicit and receive healthcare kickbacks, and two counts of making false statements.

2. Dr. Hamilton was the owner and operator of HMS Health and Wellness Center in Houston.

3. Between January 2012 and August 2016, Dr. Hamilton and other co-conspirators signed false and fraudulent care plans and medical departments to make it appear as if her patients qualified for and received home health services under Medicare.

Dr. Hamilton and the co-conspirators then paid patients to sign up for and receive home health services when the services were not medically necessary. Dr. Hamilton charged the home health agencies an illegal kickback in the form of a patient fee, which the home health agencies would pay.

4. The DOJ said several other people related to the scheme have also pleaded guilty or were found guilty for their roles in a larger fraudulent healthcare scheme, including Dr. Hamilton.

5. A judge will sentence Dr. Hamilton at a later date.

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