The former chief financial officer of Tustin (Calif.) Hospital and Medical Center has admitted to paying kickbacks for patients recruited from streets and shelters in and around Los Angeles to be admitted for care billed to Medicare and Medicaid.
Former CFO pleads guilty in Skid Row case
Vincent Rubio’s guilty plea to charges marks the first time during a broader investigation of patient recruiting that federal prosecutors have named a defendant associated with Tustin-based Pacific Health Corp., the for-profit parent of Tustin Hospital as well as Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center, both of which were implicated in the scheme in a related lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
Pacific Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In his plea agreement, Rubio admits cutting checks to a company owned by Estill Mitts, who has admitted running a phony assessment center in the area of Los Angeles known as Skid Row, and a second unnamed recruiter. The hospital collected $10.6 million from the state and federal health programs, prosecutors said in a court document outlining the allegations. Rubio, 49, faces 15 years in prison and is scheduled to make his first court appearance March 1.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles also previously reached plea agreements with Mitts and three executives of City of Angels Medical Center in Los Angeles, all of whom await sentencing.
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