Franklin County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Brunner has sentenced United Medical Corp. president Joyce Beilharz to four years of community control, including four months of house arrest, for her reported role in defrauding Medicaid, Medicare and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
As the result of an investigation by Attorney General Jim Petro’s Health Care Fraud Section, Beilharz and her company pleaded guilty May 7 to one count each of Workers’ Comp fraud, Medicaid fraud and aggravated theft – all third-degree felonies. As part of her plea agreement, Beilharz paid $3.5 million in restitution for defrauding the programs and $110,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.
As a result of her conviction, Beilharz cannot participate in the Medicare, Medicaid or Workers’ Comp programs for a minimum of five years. Additionally, the judge ordered that United Medical Corp. be placed into receivership by Aug. 26. By taking that step, the company can be sold to a private buyer or employee group, allowing patients to receive uninterrupted care.
Also, the judge sentenced Beilharz to community service for a one-year period. The Hilliard resident is required to attend 12-step meetings twice a week to tell her story to program participants. Additionally, the judge levied fines of $30,000 each against both Beilharz and United Medical Corp.
From on or about Jan. 1, 2001, to May 30, 2003, Beilharz reportedly submitted claims and billing statements to Medicaid, Medicare and Workers’ Comp for services that weren’t provided to patients at United Medical Corp.’s West Broad Street Medical Center, 2575 West Broad St., and Cleveland Avenue Medical Center, 1570 Cleveland Ave., in Columbus.
In order to receive higher payments, Beilharz and her company reportedly falsely categorized medical-treatment claims and “up coded” office visits on forms submitted to the three programs.
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