Former Texas CFO Sentenced to Prison for Meaningful Use Fraud

June 19, 2015 in News

On Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced the former CFO of a Texas hospital chain to 23 months in prison for his involvement in an effort to defraud the meaningful use program, Healthcare IT News reports (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 6/18).

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Case Details

In November 2014, Shelby Regional Medical Center’s then-CFO Joe White pleaded guilty to falsely attesting to the meaningful use program during the 2012 full-year reporting period.

White also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft for using a worker’s name to falsify documents for meaningful use funding.

The false statements led Shelby Regional Medical Center, which is not closed, and other hospitals owned by Tariq Mahmood to receive nearly $17 million in meaningful use payments.

Mahmood was convicted in July of conspiracy to commit fraud, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. He was later sentenced to 11 years in prison.

In April, White agreed to pay agreed to pay about $4.4 million in restitution for his involvement in an effort to defraud the meaningful use program (iHealthBeat, 4/30).

Reaction

U.S. Attorney John Bales said, “The EHR Incentive Program was designed to enhance the delivery of excellent medical care to all Americans and especially for those citizens who live in underserved, rural areas like Shelby County.” He added, “There is no doubt that White understood that purpose and yet, he intentionally decided to steal taxpayer monies and in the process, undermine and abuse this important program” (Healthcare IT News, 6/18).

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