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

edical equipment (DME) companies for equipment used with those drugs; and for visits to Caos.

Another former physician, Pedro Cuni, who is currently serving time in prison for Medicare fraud, testified that Maria Hernandez, the owner of Action Best Medical Supplies Inc., informed him that she was utilizing Caos to write false prescriptions. The jury also heard testimony from Orlando Pascual, another company owner who is serving time in prison for Medicare fraud, that he purchased prescriptions from Caos at $100 per prescription.

In 2006, the Medicare program paid for more than $155 million worth of aerosol medications in Miami-Dade County alone. These drugs were the single most common item billed to Medicare Part B and accounted for more than 32 percent of all equipment claims filed in Miami-Dade County. From 2005 to 2006, claims for aerosol medications rose more than 100 percent in Miami-Dade County. According to Medicare data, Miami-Dade County alone accounted for more paid DME claims than every state in the country except California, Texas, New York, Michigan and Ohio. In June 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ceased paying for compounded aerosol medication because it determined that they were medically unnecessary.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Kirk Ogrosky and Trial Attorney John S. (Jay) Darden of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section, with the investigative assistance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General and the FBI. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force that has been operating in Miami since March 2007. The Strike Force is led by Deputy Chief Ogrosky of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section in Washington, D.C., and the office of U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida.


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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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