A Southern California doctor has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to accepting $30,000 in kickbacks to fabricate Medicare claims for home health care services for seniors.
The sentencing of Dr. Whan Sil “Victoria” Kim of Hancock Park last week is the latest in a series of prosecutions targeting the Los Angeles Greatcare Home Health clinic, which the prosecutor in the case says was “almost a wholly fraudulent endeavor.”
Greatcare's owner, Hee Jung “Angela” Mun, a nurse, pleaded guilty to orchestrating the scam. Her plea says the clinic bribed Medicare patients to sign up for home care they didn't need and paid doctors to document $5 million worth of care, much of which was not provided.
The case is one in a growing number of fraud cases exploiting Medicare’s home health care program, which is meant to pay for skilled nursing or physical therapy for homebound seniors. In 2010, Medicare spent $19.5 billion on care rendered by more than 11,000 certified home health care agencies.
Authorities learned of the case when the receptionist at Greatcare’s Westlake-area clinic exposed the operation.
Whistle-blower Misha Kim “felt she was going to go to prison unless she reported it,” said Philip Cohen, the attorney representing her. “It was so blatant, it was almost a joke.”