Texan Gets Eight Years for Health Care Fraud

     HOUSTON (CN) - A Texas woman was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for submitting more than $1.48 million in phony Medicare claims for feeding tube supplies.
     Andrea Michelle Tellison, 47, also was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.
     Tellison is the former owner of Texas Durable Medical Company. A jury convicted her of 14 counts of health care fraud and seven counts of aggravated identity theft in April, after a three-day trial.
     "During trial, jurors heard the testimony of six Medicare beneficiaries detailing that they did not need tube feedings and did not receive tube feeding supplies despite Tellison billing thousands of dollars for those items," federal prosecutors said in a statement.
     "They also heard from seven Houston area physicians who stated they did not order tube feedings or tube feeding supplies for the Medicare beneficiaries and that they did not authorize Tellison to use their names and UPIN [Unique Physician Identification Number] numbers to submit claims to Medicare and Medicaid for those items."     
     At Tellison's sentencing hearing Tuesday an FBI agent testified that her fraud also involved incontinence products and back, elbow and shoulder braces.
     U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal allowed Tellison to stay out on bond and voluntarily surrender to a federal jail to be determined soon.