|October 28, 2010
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Monroe County physician was sentenced in federal court for one count of health care fraud for defrauding the Florida Medicaid program. Dr. Manuel Javier Fernandez was sentenced to three years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to repay the Medicaid program over $656,000.
Investigators with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating Fernandez, 77, when the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) received Explanation of Medicaid Benefits (EOMB) surveys from seven Medicaid recipients who stated that they did not receive the services listed on the EOMB from Fernandez. Over 60 Medicaid recipients were contacted and all stated that they did not receive the services that Fernandez billed Medicaid for. Subsequently, AHCA terminated Fernandez as a Florida Medicaid provider. Based upon further investigation, it was determined that Fernandez received payment from the Florida Medicaid Program of more than $656,000 for services that he did not render. In June, Fernandez pled guilty as charged. Fernandez was investigated and prosecuted as a joint effort between the MFCU, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida.
Florida Statutes provides that persons who report Medicaid fraud may be entitled to a reward for their information. Tips can be reported by contacting the Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline at 1-866-966-7226. Rewards will only be paid after a case has resulted in a fine, penalty or forfeiture of property.