The Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, just announced one of the country’s largest Medicare frauds in recent history. The announcement was made on June 22nd, 2016. The fraud was an ear care relate scam that targeted senior citizens more than any other generation. The scam spans throughout the country, though the epicenter is Dallas, Texas.
There are plenty of people to blame, and the Attorney General is making sure that everyone who is guilty is indicted, but there is one couple that is taking most of the heat in Dallas. That couple is Harlan R. Hill and Latecia P. Hill, though the Latecia’s mother was also indicted. Harlan is 52 years of age and is the owner of Total Senior Ear Care while his wife was the administrator of the company. Latecia is 50 years of age. Her mother is 71, and she was in charge of running day-to-day operations and marketed the company to nursing homes around Dallas.
The entire family was indicted with 15 counts of health care fraud. As of right now, the investigations have exposed that the couple stole more than 5.1 million dollars from the defendants that are suing. This does not include the people who have not come forth.
The scam consisted of several deceptions and wrongdoings that are simply malicious to say the least. It seems that Latecia, along with the rest of her family, told nursing homes that their company was able to provide on-site ear care to their elderly residents. The company promised a comprehensive evaluation by professional ear, nose, and throat doctors. Total Senior Ear Care hired several physicians and medical assistants whenever a nursing home hired them to provide complete care to the facilities. The contracted physicians and medical assistants were told to complete an entire sweep of the facility, leaving no person untreated. The company ensured that every patient was treated, even if ear-related services were not required.
The company would sometimes report seeing about 100 people in just one day. The visits usually took about five minutes, though the time reported to Medicare was much longer. Latecia and her mother told their staff to see a patient even if the patient was unconscious or not moving. Apparently, the daughter and mother would instruct their staff that a mere eye movement should be interpreted as consent for some of the following:
- Ear exam
- Ear cleaning
- Ear-probe testing
The fraudulent family ordered staff to check for ear wax on patients and claim that an ear wax cleaning was performed, even though these services were not provided. The company also diagnosed most patients with the same ailment, which was sensorineural hearing loss. This condition was not diagnosed in any way by a medical professional. Many of their medical assistants were asked to performed unnecessary hearing-related screenings to write even more fraudulent bills.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations has seized the Hill’s home, which is worth about 400,000 dollars and two relatively new Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Hopefully, the victims see this family pay for all of their wrongdoings.