Miami doctor gets 20 years in prison for defrauding Medicare

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 11, 2011

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A Miami internist involved in a $23 million Medicare fraud scheme was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison on June 27, federal officials said.

Rene De Los Rios, MD, had authorized HIV tests and treatments that were medically unnecessary or never performed, according to a statement from the Dept. of Justice. Dr. De Los Rios diagnosed almost all the patients at a facility with the same rare blood disorder in order to maximize payments.

From April 2003 to October 2003, the physician submitted $23 million in Medicare claims for injection and infusion therapies, officials said. The Medicare program paid about $11.7 million in claims.

On April 14, a jury convicted Dr. De Los Rios of one count of conspiracy to commit health fraud and four counts of submission of false claims, the Justice Dept. said. On June 27, a district court judge ordered him to serve 235 months and pay a minimum of $11.7 million in restitution. The exact amount the defendant and other co-defendants involved in the case must pay will be determined at a later date.

Dr. De Los Rios could not be reached for comment.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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