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Miami Jury Convicts Dermatologist of Medicare Fraud
Date:4/30/2008

Ninth Trial Conviction for Medicare Fraud Strike Force

WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A federal jury in Miami convicted dermatologist Ana Caos, M.D., late yesterday of Medicare fraud, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida announced today.

After a nine-day trial in Miami, the jury found Caos, 62, guilty on all charged counts, including: conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, to cause the submission of false claims to Medicare, and to solicit and receive kickbacks; and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Caos was originally convicted on March 7, 2008, but the court ordered a retrial based on issues that arose during Caos' prior testimony. Sentencing on this conviction has been scheduled for July 18, 2008. Caos faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

At trial, the jury heard testimony from Caos' patients that she wrote prescriptions for medications that the patients did not want or need, solely for the purpose of billing Medicare for the medications. The patients testified that they were falsely diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and therefore prescribed unnecessary compounded aerosol medications that they threw in the trash immediately upon receipt.

An expert pulmonologist from the University of Miami Medical School testified that prescribing compounded aerosols for the treatment of COPD was unnecessary because there are numerous commercially available medications that can be prescribed. Compounding is the process of a pharmacist making medication as opposed to a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

As part of these conspiracies, Caos wrote unnecessary prescriptions for homemade compounded medicines for more than 40 patients. Between February 2001 and June 2003, Medicare was billed $620,000 by complicit pharmacies for unnecessary aerosol prescriptions; by complicit durable m
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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