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Miami Physician Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison for Role in $10 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Date:6/29/2009

WASHINGTON, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Miami physician Roberto Rodriguez, 54, was sentenced today to 97 months in prison for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme involving HIV infusion services, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman of the Southern District of Florida and Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Rodriguez was also ordered to pay more than $9 million in restitution to the Medicare program during today's sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty before Judge Huck on March 23, 2009, to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. In his guilty plea, Rodriguez admitted that he was a co-owner of and practicing physician at Midway Medical Center Inc. (Midway), a Miami clinic that purported to specialize in the treatment of HIV patients. Rodriguez admitted that, while at Midway, he and his co-conspirators routinely billed the Medicare program for services that were medically unnecessary and in many instances were never provided. Rodriguez further admitted that he purchased only a small fraction of the drugs that were purportedly administered to patients at the clinic.

Most of the services allegedly provided to patients at Midway were billed to the Medicare program as treatments for thrombocytopenia, a disorder involving a low count of platelets in the blood. According to the plea documents, none of Midway's patients actually had low blood platelet counts. Rodriguez admitted that to make it appear that the patients actually had low platelet levels, he and his co-conspirators used chemists to manipulate the blood samples drawn from Midway's patients before the blood was sent to a laboratory for analysis. In his plea, Rodriguez admitted to ordering that patients at Midway receive medications designed to treat thrombocytopenia despite knowing th
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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