DME Company Operators Convicted of Health Care Fraud

Two workers from a durable medical equipment company (DME) in Louisiana were convicted of healthcare fraud and kickbacks on July 29 for their parts in submitting false reimbursement claims to Medicare for enteral nutrition that the company purportedly provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

Imeh Ebere pled guilty to submitting numerous fraudulent claims to Medicare through her company for enteral nutrition related products that she had purportedly provided to Medicare beneficiaries, even though the beneficiaries did not have feeding tubes, which is how enteral nutritional supplements are administered.  Shelia Hives pled guilty to receiving illegal kickbacks from Ebere to induce Hives to refer Medicare beneficiaries to Ebere.   Ebere faces up to ten years in prison and Hives up to five years in prison.

The investigation was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS tasked with preventing and deterring fraud and enforcing current anti-fraud laws around the country.

In May 2014, the Strike Force helped bring charges against 90 individuals in Florida, Texas, California, Michigan, and New York for health care fraud schemes. This was the seventh operation by the Task Force nationwide.



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