Dr. Ronald Poulin of Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) was sentenced to five years in prison after a jury of his peers determined he had willfully defrauded government insurance programs (Medicare and Tricare) out of $1.3 million. Dr. Poulin reportedly falsified documents, overcharged patients, and even split medications between patients while still charging them for the full amount of the drugs, according to The Virginian-Pilot. He could have received 20 years in prison but federal prosecutors recommended a five-year sentence.
Dr. Poulin continues to deny any responsibility instead opting to lay the blame on his staff. "I have to take responsibility for the actions of my employees," said Dr. Poulin, "I wasn’t wasteful."
Health care fraud isn’t an easy crime to detect and is still very rare. In fact, only two or three cases have been prosecuted in the past decade. However, the crime itself can have major ramifications costing American taxpayers over $1 billion every year.
A major component of health care reform is rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse. This case exemplifies the abuse some doctors inflict both on their patients and the American people.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.