HealthNews Room

Springfield man gets year in prison for health care fraud

A Springfield man was sentenced Thursday to one year and one day in federal prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to health care fraud.

Michael A. Tucker, 47, was sentenced to the prison time and ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution after admitting he committed fraud at the four Family Medical Center clinics he operated in southern Missouri, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

The release says Tucker was the owner of Family Medical Center clinics in Carthage, Branson, Nevada and Lamar until he closed all four locations last summer.

Tucker defrauded Medicaid and Medicare by submitting claims to the government for more expensive treatment than what was actually provided, according to the release.

The release says the doctors and nurse practitioners at Tucker’s clinics accurately recorded the services they provided, but Tucker billed Medicaid and Medicare for more expensive services so that the clinics would receive greater reimbursements.

The release says the Missouri Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Division led the initial investigation into Tucker’s actions and then helped the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Heath and Human Services in Tucker’s prosecution.

Tucker’s attorney Jason Hans told the News-Leader that Tucker apologized in court.

“He has accepted responsibility and hopes to move forward from it,” Hans said.

The extra one day in Tucker’s sentence makes him eligible for early release for good behavior.

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