Feds seize mental health clinic records in Medicare fraud probe
Federal agents with search warrants seized hundreds of patient records from a Houston psychiatric hospital and its two mental health clinics Thursday, part of an escalating Medicare fraud investigation into financial exploitation and care of the mentally ill as detailed last year by the Houston Chronicle.
The files, belonging to patients who attend counseling sessions at Westbury Community Hospital and its clinics in southwest Houston and Baytown, were boxed up and loaded into trucks in a pre-dawn swoop by the FBI and investigators from the Texas Attorney General's office.
Sources familiar with the investigation told the Chronicle the probe into Westbury is centered on the care of patients as well as whether owners of personal care homes were paid by hospital or clinic workers to recruit residents for treatment, whether they needed the care or not.
Billing totals obtained by the Chronicle show that more than $6.2 million in Medicare payments for mental health services were paid in 2010 to Westbury's clinic at 6614 Hornwood, then called Continuum Healthcare.