Durable Medical Equipment Company Owner Arrested in 21-Count Health Care Fraud Indictment
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 22, 2013|
HOUSTON—Andrea Michelle Tellison, 46, has been arrested following the return of a 21-count indictment charging her with health care fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
The indictment was returned under seal Wednesday, March 20, 2013, and unsealed today upon her arrest. She made her initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy, at which time she was released on bond.
Tellison, of Houston, is one of the owners of Texas Durable Medical Company, located in Houston, according to the indictment. She is alleged to have submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for durable medical equipment (DME), including enteral nutrition feeding kits that were not provided to Medicare beneficiaries, not ordered by physicians, and not medically necessary. Enteral nutrition is provided by feeding tubes and accessories rather than consumed orally.
According to the indictment, Tellison also falsely signed certain Medicare forms stating there was documentation in patient medical records detailing the need for enteral nutrition when there was not. The indictment also alleges Tellison delivered formula to Medicare beneficiaries that expressly stated “not for tube feeding.” Additionally, Tellison allegedly failed to purchase sufficient inventory to deliver all the enteral nutrition and supplies she billed to Medicare and Medicaid. The indictment indicates that between March 29, 2008, and November 30, 2009, Tellison submitted approximately $1,480,511.31 worth of claims for enteral nutrition and supplies and received approximately $786,222.11 as payment for those claims.
If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine for each conviction of health care fraud. Aggravated identity theft further carries a mandatory two-year prison term that must be served consecutively to any sentence for the underlying offense and up to a $250,000 fine, upon conviction.
The investigation into Tellison was the result of a joint investigation conducted by agents from the FBI, Railroad Retirement Board-Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Service-Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Attorney General Office-Medicare Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.