Former San Antonio Health Services Employee Sentenced for Receiving Kickbacks
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas
SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio woman was sentenced in a federal court today to 10 years of probation and fined $200,000 for two charges related to healthcare kickbacks.
According to court documents, from June 2014 to April 2019, Amber Ashley Price, 40, engaged in a conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in return for sending prescriptions to specific pharmacies. Some prescriptions were paid for by federal insurance programs including Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, and TRICARE. Price, an employee of Kindred Home Health, would also refer patients to other home health agencies in the San Antonio area for a kickback payment. At least some of the patients referred were Medicare beneficiaries.
“Illegal kickbacks are a hidden drain on our healthcare system. They raise costs and prevent patient choice,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “This case reinforces our ongoing commitment to policing this all too common practice and ensuring the integrity of our public health insurance programs.”
“The FBI and our law enforcement partners are working hard every day to protect patients and federal health care programs from fraud and abuse,” said Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr. for the FBI San Antonio Division. “Healthcare fraud affects patient safety, quality of healthcare, and healthcare costs. Amber Price knew what she was doing was unethical and illegal. Today’s sentence sends a message to those who would use kickbacks and fraudulent schemes to take advantage of the health care system, that these types of crimes will not be tolerated.”
Codefendant Christopher Patrick Cruz, 49, of San Antonio, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 21. Cruz owned a medical marketing business and conspired with Price to increase the volumes of prescriptions of specific pharmacies.
The FBI; Texas Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General; and the Defense Criminal Investigation Service investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Chung prosecuted the case.
Updated November 7, 2023
Health Care Fraud