A Philadelphia doctor is facing up to 25 years in federal prison after a jury convicted him on Monday of accepting illegal kickbacks for referring patients to a Northeast-based hospice service.
Eugene Goldman, M.D., 55, collected at least $263,000 from Home Care Hospice Inc., of 2801 Grant Ave., in exchange for referring Medicare and Medicaid patients to the for-profit hospice business from January 2003 to October 2008, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia. And from December 2000 until July 2011, Goldman served as medical director of HCH, which provided hospice services at nursing homes, hospitals and private residences.
As medical director, Goldman continued to refer Medicare and Medicaid patients to HCH while collecting payments from the company. A written contract between Goldman and HCH gave the false appearance that the payments were compensation for medical services rendered, although most of the payments were actually compensation for referrals, the U.S. Attorney said.
The payments violated a federal "anti-kickback" statute.
"These kickbacks for health-care referrals drive up costs, corrupt medical decisions and lead to payments for unneeded procedures," said Nick DiGiulio, special agent in charge of the Inspector General's Office for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The jury convicted Goldman of four counts of violating the statute along with one count of conspiracy. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the five counts. He is due for sentencing on Sept. 9.
As a result of the convictions, Goldman will be ineligible to participate in any federal healthcare program. He also faces the possible loss of his medical license. ••