From 2008 to 2012, the 61-year-old doctor based in Los Angeles County, admitted mostly homeless patients from LA’s Skid Row for treatment they did not need, administered unnecessary tests and discharged patients to nursing facilities even though they did not require the care.
According to the US District Attorney’s office, Mercene billed Medicare and Medi-Cal more than $1.8 million for medically unnecessary services. He was also paid $850,000 and received $700,000 in cash for referring these patients into skilled nursing homes.
Mercene’s case is part of an ongoing investigation into a large-scale scheme to recruit Skid Row patients by agencies such as the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Mercene’s sentencing is set for July 21. To read more about the investigation, go to Global Nation.