Bay Area home health care companies charged in $8M kickback scheme

Federal prosecutors in San Francisco on Thursday announced criminal charges against 28 people, including 13 doctors, and two home health care companies in an $8 million kickback scheme.

“This is a cash for patients scheme,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson said at a news conference.

Federal complaints unsealed Thursday allege that two Hayward-based companies led by Ridhima Singh, 33, of Livermore, gave doctors and other professionals $6 million in cash, $2 million in medical director fees and items such as Golden State Warriors tickets for Medicare patient referrals.

The companies are Amity Home Health Care Inc., the largest home health provider in the Bay Area, and Advent Care Inc., which provides hospice care. The referrals resulted in $115 million in Medicare payments, Anderson said.

The U.S. attorney said there are no allegations that the patients didn’t need the care or that the care was of poor quality. Rather, the charges are for financial fraud in referring patients to those particular companies.

Anderson said Singh was among 12 defendants who were arrested during the past 24 hours and were due to appear before a federal magistrate in San Francisco at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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