By LeaAnne Klentzman
Justina Okehie aka Dr. Tina Collins, 55, of Richmond, Texas, entered a plea of guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, said United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The conspiracy was the result of fraudulent physical therapy and chiropractic claims being charged to and paid by Medicare and Texas Medicaid programs. According to Magidson, “From January 2007 through August 2010, Medicare and Medicaid paid approximately $2.1 million to Okehie.”
According to the US Attorney’s Office, Okehie owned and operated Adom Rehabilitation Services and Healthcare and Wellness Medical Center, both located in southwest Houston.
Based on reports, as part of the conspiracy, Okehie would pay patient recruiters to refer Medicare beneficiaries to her clinics. She also paid the Medicare beneficiaries themselves for just showing up at the clinics, said Magidson. In many instances, the physical therapy and chiropractic services billed to the government health care programs were not performed and were not medically necessary said authorities. Some of the Medicare beneficiaries were actually receiving medical services at inpatient hospital facilities at the time Okehie was purportedly providing them physical therapy and chiropractic services in her clinics.
Co-defendant Cassandra Tasby Barnes, 48, of Houston, who was employed as an office manager, has already entered a guilty plea in this same case. She was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute. Both Okehie and Barnes are currently on bond and are scheduled to be sentenced on May 21, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas.
The investigation into Adom Rehabilitation and Healthcare and Wellness Medical Center was the result of joint efforts by agents and investigators of the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Railroad Retirement Board and the FBI. Special Assistant U.S. Attorneya Justin Blan, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Redlinger are prosecuting this case.
Okehie and her husband own a home in the Woodsedge neighborhood in northwest Fort Bend County that carries a Richmond zip code.