Former CEO of Missouri hospital pleads guilty to $100 million insurance fraud scheme


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The former CEO of a Missouri hospital has admitted to a billing scheme where he defrauded medicaid and other insurance companies out of more than $100 million.

David Byrns, 62, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

He took over as the CEO of Putnam County Memorial Hospital in rural Unionville in 2016 through an arrangement made with the hospital’s board.

Byrns and others, including a lab owner, arranged for drug tests to be performed on a massive scale in labs outside of Missouri for people who were not hospital patients.

To carry out his scheme, Byrns and others entered into arrangements with marketers who obtained samples from substance abuse treatment centers, sober living homes and doctor’s offices throughout the U.S. In return, the marketers would get a portion of the insurance reimbursements.

Most of the tests were medically unnecessary.

As part his plea, Byrns agreed to forfeit $5.1 million. The hospital received $114 million in reimbursements, most of which was shared among Byrns and his co-conspirators.

His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

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