2 doctors accused of using homeless in fraud scheme
Two physicians were arrested Friday for allegedly subjecting mentally ill homeless people to unnecessary tests and other procedures at a North Hollywood clinic in order to submit fraudulent bills to government insurance programs, authorities said.
Dr. Eleanor Santiago Arthur and Dr. Rodney Stephen Barron participated in a scheme in which "cappers" recruited Medicare and Medi-Cal enrollees from as far away as Long Beach and drove them to the Victory Boulevard clinic in exchange for a fee, according to the complaint filed by Los Angeles Deputy City Atty. Carolyn Phillips.
The "patients" were subjected to abdominal ultrasounds and other procedures that were unwarranted, the complaint says. In some instances, their blood was drained into unsanitary, open containers, it says. One official said the clinics submitted the blood for tests under multiple patients' names so they could bill multiple times.
After the visits, the cappers drove the patients back to where they picked them up and paid them $100 each, according to the complaint.
-- Lisa Girion