Federal authorities arrested five hospice-care nurses last week for allegedly conspiring to defraud Medicare of more than $9 million in reimbursement payments to their Northeast-based company.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has named Patricia McGill, 64, of Philadelphia, as the lead defendant in the scheme. Her co-defendants include Natalya Shvets, 42, of Southampton; Giorgi Oqroshidze, 36, of Philadelphia; Yevgeniya Goltman, 42, of Newtown; and Alexsandr Koptyakov, 39, of Bensalem.
All five defendants worked for Home Care Hospice Inc. at 1810 Grant Ave., and later at 2801 Grant Ave.
A co-owner of the business, Matthew Kolodesh, 49, of Churchville, was charged in a separate indictment last October. A second co-owner, identified in federal court documents only as “A.P.,” served as hospice director for Home Care Hospice, while McGill, a registered nurse, served as director of professional services.
McGill is accused of authorizing and supervising the admission of inappropriate and ineligible patients for hospice services at private residences, nursing homes and hospitals, resulting in the collection of $9.32 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims from Medicare between January 2005 and December 2008.
Specifically, McGill allegedly authorized nursing staff and supervisors, including her four co-defendants, “to fabricate and falsify documents in support of hospice care for patients who were not eligible for hospice care, or for a higher, more costly level of care than was actually provided to the patients,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a printed statement.
Nurses Shvets, Oqroshidze, Goltman and Koptyakov allegedly created fraudulent nursing notes for about 150 patients to indicate that hospice services were provided for patients when, in reality, hospice services were not provided.
All five defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health-care fraud. McGill is charged with 14 counts of health-care fraud, while Shvets is charged with eight counts of the same offense, Oqroshidze seven counts, Goltman four counts and Koptykov eight counts.
If convicted, McGill would likely face a prison sentence in the range of 108 to 135 months, while her four co-defendants would face lesser prison terms.
Kolodesh is charged with conspiracy to commit health-care fraud, 21 counts of health-care fraud, 11 counts of money laundering and two counts of mail fraud. A trial date has not been set. ••EndFragment