Cairns medical receptionist sentenced to jail for $178k Medicare fraud

Department of Health

A Cairns woman has been convicted and sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment by the Cairns District Court on Wednesday, 17 August 2022, after pleading guilty to fraudulently claiming more than $178,000 in Medicare payments under the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS).

Working as a medical receptionist, the woman was charged with one count of obtaining a financial advantage by deception for electronically submitting 355 false Medicare claims using the details of five medical practitioners.

The woman entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment.

However, the prison sentence was suspended, and she was placed on a good behaviour bond of two years. The woman is also subjected to two years’ probation and ordered to repay the full amount of $178,548.70.

The Department of Health and Aged Care takes allegations of fraud against Medicare very seriously.

The department has a strong health provider compliance program that protects Australia’s health payments system through the prevention, identification and treatment of incorrect claiming and fraud by health providers.

Anyone with information about suspected non-compliance or fraud of Government health payments by health providers can make a report via the “Reporting Fraud” page on the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website at www.health.gov.au/fraud-tip-offs or by calling the Provider Benefits Integrity Hotline on 1800 314 808.

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