Four Miami-area residents pleaded guilty Monday in connection with a $10 million Medicare fraud scheme involving HIV infusion clinics.
Roberto Rodriguez, Carlos Garrido, Gonzalo Nodarse and Alexis Carrazana all pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
All four admitted to working at Midway Medical Center, a Miami clinic that purported to specialize in the treatment of HIV patients.
According to the plea, Rodriguez was a co-owner of and practicing physician at Midway.
Rodriguez admitted that he and his co-conspirators routinely billed the Medicare program for services that were medically unnecessary and, in many instances, never provided.
He further admitted to purchasing only a small fraction of the medication that was purportedly being administered to Midway's patients.
Most of the services provided to patients at Midway were billed to the Medicare program as treatments for a diagnosis of thrombocytopenia, a disorder involving a low count of platelets in the blood.
In actuality, 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.
He also admitted to ordering that patients at Midway receive medications to treat thrombocytopenia despite knowing that the laboratory results had been falsified and the patients did not actually have that condition.
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