Physician Convicted of Signing Fake Health Care Documents
In June, a physician from Texas was convicted of four fraud charges for his role in a $13 million home health care scam, in which he provided “rubber stamp signatures” on fraudulent documents. Dr. Kelly Robinett is a semi-retired emergency room doctor with over 30 years of experience who wanted to see fewer patients when he accepted a job that would pay him $400 per week to sign medical paperwork.
According to court records, Dr. Robinett signed these fake documents over an eight-year period, which allowed a Dallas-based Timely Home Health Services to bill Medicare for home health care services the patients didn’t qualify for or need. The prosecution emphasized that Dr. Robinett never saw any of the patients he authorized the home health care for, thus getting paid to be the aforementioned rubber stamp. Eric K. Jackson, who is in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office stated, “The significance of this case highlights the responsibility health care workers, especially physicians and nurses, have to protect not only their patients, but to prevent fraud against any federal health insurance program during the performance of their duties.”
Dr. Robinett’s defense attorney argued that while it was a mistake for Dr. Robinett to place his trust in the people who initially approached him to sign the documents, it should not have resulted in a felony fraud conviction. The jury disagreed. They found that while Dr. Robinett was not the instigator or mastermind of the health care fraud scheme, he was an integral part of carrying it out. At its core, Dr. Robinett and is co-defendants lied on paperwork, faked services, and billed Medicare.
This case is an important reminder that trained professionals, such as physicians like Dr. Robinett, should not blindly sign medical documents when they have never seen, treated, or learned anything about the patient. To learn more about Dr. Robinett’s case and conviction, you may read Kevin Krause’s article, “Former ER doctor who signed bogus documents found guilty with 2 nurse in $13 million health care fraud.”
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