Hospital and Homeless Shelter Bilked Government By Filling Beds With Homeless

The head of a Los Angeles hospital and the operator of a homeless facility on “Skid Row” allegedly conspired to bilk the government out of millions by paying homeless people to pose as patients and then billing the government for the charges:

WSJ: A top hospital official and the operator of a homeless facility face federal criminal fraud charges for their alleged involvement in an elaborate plan to recruit homeless individuals for unnecessary health-care treatment and then bill the government for it.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on Wednesday arrested Rudra Sabaratnam, chief executive of City of Angels hospital, and Estill Mitts, operator of a homeless assessment centre in Los Angeles’s downtown “Skid Row,” for conspiring to persuade homeless people to act as patients in an attempt to fill beds, according to the U.S. attorney’s office here…

Lured by the promise of money — about $30 — homeless individuals checked into hospitals, where they often received unnecessary and even potentially harmful diagnoses or treatments, according to the civil complaint. One homeless patient was given a nitroglycerin patch, which dropped her blood pressure to such levels that her life was imperiled, said Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. As a result, Medicare and Medi-Cal, a joint federal and state program, were billed for the false services and provided the hospitals with compensation.

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