Monday, May 13, 2013

Dana Gonzalez Community Mental Health Center Program Coordinator Sentenced to 70 Months for Role in $63 Million Fraud Scheme


WASHINGTON – A former program coordinator at the defunct health provider Health Care Solutions Network Inc. (HCSN) was sentenced in Miami to 70 months in prison today for her role in a $63 million fraud scheme.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Christopher B. Dennis of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Miami office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga.

Dana Gonzalez, 43, of High Point, N.C., pleaded guilty on March 6, 2013, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In addition to the prison sentence, Gonzalez was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $19,428,120 in restitution.

During the course of the conspiracy, Gonzalez was employed as a therapist and program coordinator of HCSN’s Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). A PHP is a form of intensive treatment for severe mental illness.

According to court documents, HCSN of Florida (HCSN-FL) operated community mental health centers at two locations. Gonzalez was aware that HCSN-FL paid illegal kickbacks to owners and operators of Miami-Dade County Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) in exchange for patient referral information to be used to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid.

Gonzalez admitted that she routinely fabricated medical records for purported mental health treatment that were used to support false and fraudulent claims to health care benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. Gonzalez admitted that she routinely fabricated these medical records, despite knowing that many of the ALF referral patients were ineligible for PHP services because many patients suffered from mental retardation, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Gonzalez, an unlicensed clinical social worker intern at the time, also admitted to providing unlicensed therapy to PHP patients when licensed therapists were absent.

In total, Gonzalez admitted that during her employment at HCSN, she and her co-conspirators submitted approximately $46,959,975 in false and fraudulent claims. According to court documents, from 2004 through 2011, HCSN billed Medicare and the Florida Medicaid program approximately $63 million for purported mental health services.

Report Medicare & Medicaid Fraud by Calling 1-888-985-9844 or by visiting