West Miami-Dade

The strip mall pharmacy near Bird Bowl hosted a $1.2 million Medicare/Medicaid fraud

The Rx Health Pharmacy sat between the Don Ticket law office and Camila’s Cake Supply, just another small business in the same strip mall as West Miami-Dade stalwart Bird Bowl.

But a small business out of which co-owner and manager Elaine Hurtado helped run a $1.2 million health care fraud.

Hurtado, 47, is at the Coleman Medium federal prison in Sumterville, scheduled to be released June 15, 2021 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Court records say Hurtado’s husband, Eusebio Huici, already has been released after serving six months after pleading guilty to the same charge. Now, he can start working on his $98,843 in restitution.

When Hurtado gets out, she’ll owe the better part of $1,260,563 restitution. She won’t be able to earn that with her registered pharmacy technician license, now under an emergency suspension order (ESO) from the Florida Department of Health.

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Hurtado’s admission of facts says the Rx Health Pharmacy, 9361 SW 40th St., ran standard Medicare fraud and Medicaid fraud schemes. Hurtado and partners submitted false claims for health care benefits Rx Health never provided to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Most of those claims were for prescription drugs.

Cash kickbacks retained the beneficiaries as Rx Health patients as did cash for the drugs Rx billed the agencies for but never actually provided to the beneficiaries.

Medicare prescription drug plan sponsors and the Medicaid program paid Rx Health $1,260,563.

Mayrelis Lopez, registered with the State of Florida as the Rx Health Corporation’s lone officer and agent, is doing time at the federal prison in Tallahassee until Mar. 5, 2021 for conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks. She also got hit with $1,260,563 in restitution.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.