A 43-year-old woman who owns and operates a Shreveport, Louisiana-based intensive outpatient company is facing 30 years of jail time over charges of health care fraud and wire fraud. Sharon Monroe, the owner of Monroe Medical Management LLC (MMM), pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. to charges of bilking money from Medicare.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe and her company submitted for approximately $6 million in fraudulent Medicare reimbursement claims between 2007 and 2011. Medicare paid out $2 million of that total.
Here are some examples of the egregious claims made by Monroe and MMM:
- The company submitted claims were for psychotherapy services that were never performed.
- Monroe admitted that her employees rendered services for longer than 24 hours a day.
- MMM billed for services performed by employees not qualified to perform the services.
- MMM submitted claims for services purportedly in medical offices when they were not.
- Monroe used doctors’ Medicare provider numbers to submit claims without their knowledge.
If convicted, Monroe could face up to 10 years in prison for the health care fraud count and up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count. She is also looking at restitution for both counts and a potential fine of $250,000.
This case highlights the need for whistleblowers to come forward with health care fraud information. In cases of this kind, a whistleblower may be entitled to a reward of up to 25 percent of any money successfully recovered by the government.