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Florida Businessman Charged With Health Care Fraud Owes $128M

Daniel Hurt, a Florida businessman, pleaded guilty to three separate schemes to defraud federal health insurance programs. Hurt, 58, agreed to pay $97 million in restitution and $31 million in criminal forfeiture, totalling $128 million, according to Reuters. In one scheme, fraudulent bills were submitted to Medicare by a Pennsylvania hospital, by Hurt and co-conspirators, for genetic screening of cancer risks. Hurt admitted that he and his co-conspirators obtained cheek swab samples from Medicare beneficiaries through mail marketing and purported "health fairs" and then obtained orders for testing via telemedicine from doctors who were not actually treating the beneficiaries and were not qualified to interpret the tests.

The results of the tests were never used in treating patients. In his second scheme, originally charged by prosecutors in New Jersey, Hurt admitted that he billed Medicare for unnecessary tests performed by laboratories that he owned. The third scheme, originally charged by Florida prosecutors, Hurt and his co-conspirators caused TRICARE and CHAMPVA, federal insurance programs for military service members and veterans, to be billed for medically unnecessary compound drugs. Patients recruited for that scheme obtained prescriptions through a telemedicine service in Utah and received the drugs from a pharmacy Hurt and his partners partly owned through a company called OptimuMD. In all three schemes, doctors were paid kickbacks for their role, prosecutors said.


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