The saga of former Shelby Regional Medical Center CFO Joe White, who was found guilty of fraud for falsifying meaningful use records, ended this week when he was sentenced to 23 months in prison.
White and former Shelby CEO Tariq Mahmood, M.D. were found guilty of falsifying meaningful use attestation records to receive $17 million in payments. White was also ordered to pay $4.4 million back in restitution to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Mahmood was tried separately and found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
White was Mahmood's chief contact person for the installation of the electronic medical record (EMR) system at Shelby and Mahmood's other hospitals. He attested to meaningful use, with the Mahmood hospitals receiving $16 million in payments. As reported back in February of 2014, “According to the indictment in the Eastern District of Texas, CFO, Joe White, 66 of Cameron, Texas, made it seem like Shelby Regional had transitioned from paper to electronic records. He direct the software vendor, not named in the indictment, and hospital employees to manually input data from paper records into the EHR, months after the patient was discharged and after the end of the fiscal year."
The February 2014 report also noted that “The indictment also says that White attested to meaningful use by using someone else's name information without that individual's consent or authorization."
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It was prosecuted in the U.S. Eastern District of Texas, where Judge M. Bales announced White's prison term.