Jose Santeiro

Psychiatrist Sentenced to 54 Months in Jail for Addiction Treatment Fraud
Megan Brooks
July 08, 2022

— Excerpt

Psychiatrist Jose Santeiro, MD, of Miami Lakes, Florida, has been sentenced to 54 months in prison for engaging in a scheme that fraudulently billed about $112 million for substance abuse services that were never provided or were medically unnecessary, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced.

Santeiro was medical director of two substance abuse treatment centers where the fraud occurred: Compass Detox, an inpatient detox and residential facility in Pembroke Pines, and WAR Network LLC (WAR), a related outpatient treatment program in Hallandale Beach.

According to trial evidence, Santeiro and others admitted patients for expensive and medically unnecessary detox services after recruiters offered kickbacks to lure them into the programs, and then gave the patients illegal drugs to ensure that they were admitted to detox at Compass Detox.

He also submitted bogus claims for excessive, medically unnecessary urinalysis drug tests.

Santeiro and others then authorized the readmission of a core group of patients who were shuffled between Compass Detox and WAR to fraudulently bill for “as much as possible, even though the patients did not need the expensive treatment for which they were repeatedly admitted,” the DOJ said.

It added that Santeiro gave Compass Detox patients a “comfort drink” to sedate them so they would remain at the facility…