Last week, a former orthopedic surgeon accepted a plea deal in his health care fraud case. The man had been arrested and accused of felony charges of health care fraud as well as other charges. His sentencing is in March, and the New York surgeon faces up to 10 years in prison under the terms of his plea deal.
According to the report, the surgeon had been filing for fraudulent health care since at least 2007. Supposedly, he filed with the New York Insurance Fund, Medicare and several other providers of private health insurance. The surgeon allegedly collected more than $2.5 million by purportedly lying about the scope and nature of surgical procedures in which he performed in order to earn additional money.
The surgeon allegedly tried to cover up his scheme by lying to the health care companies, but eventually, he was found out and arrested. Under the terms of his plea agreement, the surgeon faces up to 10 years in prison as well as a $5 million forfeit. He also must surrender his New York medical license as well as ensure that his Connecticut, Virginia and Pennsylvania licenses will be revoked.
The report does not state exactly what the surgeon's original charges were, nor does it state how much prison time he stood to face before he accepted the plea deal. However, it is safe to say that 10 years is a drastically reduced sentence for one who faces these types of felony charges. While not all federal criminal cases in New York result in a plea bargain, those accused individuals who are offered a deal would likely benefit from gaining an understanding of their legal options to ensure that making a plea agreement would be in his or her best interest.
Source: Hudson Valley Reporter, Hopewell Junction Surgeon Pleads Guilty to Felony Health Care Fraud, Bob Dumas, Oct. 31, 2013