Grand jury: Colo. Springs Doctor involved in fraud
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado ” A doctor who planned to provide affordable health care through a nonprofit is charged with defrauding Medicare patients with unnecessary treatments.
A California grand jury indictment against Dr. Aginah M. Deberry accuses the Colorado Springs physician and 17 others in a scheme where elderly, mentally ill and sick patients had respiratory treatments performed when they didn’t need them.
The doctors paid the patient’s caretakers to bring them in for the treatments, according to the indictment, and clinic employees were ordered to use sodas, doughnuts and candy, to entice the patients. The 2007 indictment alleges the scheme cost taxpayers $12 million in Medicare funds. Deberry is expected to go to trial next February. Three people who were indicted have already pleaded guilty to some counts.
A Saturday ceremony to kick off an affordable health care program with Deberry’s clinic was canceled after the Colorado Springs Gazette informed the organizers of the grand jury indictment.
Deberry declined the newspaper’s interview request.
The event had been arranged by the Health Care Partners Foundation, a nonprofit. They planned to partner with the Deberry-owned clinic, Four Points Medical Center.
The nonprofit works with doctors who agree to see patients at a discounted rate after they pay a membership fee to the foundation.
The Health Care Partners Foundation said in a statement they were saddened they had to postpone the ceremony Saturday, “especially when there is such a need for the uninsured populations in our community.”
The ceremony was going to include free blood-pressure checks and blood-sugar screenings.
Administrator Lawrence A. Medina said the nonprofit was worried the allegations against Deberry would be associated with them.
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