Mississippi pharmacists pleads guilty to more than $180M health care fraud scheme
WASHINGTON (WLBT) - A Mississippi pharmacist pleaded guilty on Wednesday for his role in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud TRICARE and private insurance companies.
The conduct resulted in more than $180 million in fraudulent billings, including more than $50 million paid by federal healthcare programs.
According to court documents, Davis “Jason” Rutland, 42 of Bolton, a pharmacist and co-owner of various compounding pharmacies, admitted that he participated in a scheme to defraud TRICARE and other health care benefit programs.
Rutland distributed medically unnecessary compounded medications, records show, by:
- Adjusting prescription formulas to ensure the highest reimbursement without regard to efficacy.
- Soliciting recruiters to procure prescriptions for high-margin compounded medications and paying those recruiters commissions based on the percentage of reimbursements paid by pharmacy benefit managers and health care benefit programs, including commissions on claims reimbursed by TRICARE.
- Routinely and systematically waiving and/or reducing copayments to be paid by beneficiaries and members, including utilizing a purported copayment assistance program to falsely make it appear as if Rutland’s pharmacy and its affiliate compounding pharmacies had been collecting copayments.
Rutland pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and solicit, receive, offer and pay illegal kickbacks, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 30. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Rutland must also pay restitution and forfeit all assets traced to the ill-gotten gains.
The FBI and DCIS are investigating the case.
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