It’s unfortunate with the high cost of healthcare in this country that healthcare fraud cases are becoming more prevalent, in spite of the government cracking down on the practice more severely than it has in previous years.
Such is the case of the owner of two Brooklyn-based medical clinics, Valentina Kovalienko. Kovalienko entered a guilty plea last week in connection to her involvement in money laundering healthcare fraud scheme that made use of illegal kickback that totaled some $55 million .
Kovalienko has agreed to forfeit over $29 million and she admitted to the court that the money could be traced directly to her criminal behavior. Beginning in 2008 and extending for a period of four years, Kovalienko’s actions resulted in patients receiving cash kickbacks that involved billing of medically unnecessary physical and occupational therapy, diagnostic tests, and office visits that were not performed by licensed professionals.
Additionally as part of the scheme, Kovalienko paid occupational and physical therapists to misrepresent patient charts and billing records and diverting Medicare and Medicaid funds to herself and her co-conspirators.
Kovalienko’s sentencing date has not yet been set.
Healthcare fraud is a crime that impacts everyone. The result of fraudulent claims that are submitted to government agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid and to other healthcare companies and agencies often directly contribute to the extremely high price of health care in United States. The cost of healthcare fraud by some industry analysts totals tens of billions of dollars a year – or as high as $199 billion annually. Ultimately, it means that patients and their families end up paying higher insurance premiums and deductibles as a result.
If you suspect that there may be health care fraud when dealing with any medical procedure or claim, contact the law offices of Bottar Leone PLLC today. When you call our offices, we can schedule a free consultation and legal analysis to discuss your case.