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April 27, 2022

The owner and operator of two Texas-based adult day care centers has been sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution after she was found to have billed the Texas Medicaid Program for items and services not provided.  Scherry Lynn Moses ran Scherry’s Adult Day Activity Center and New Creation Residential Care Homes, a room and board for Social Security recipients, but inconsistently provided boarders with basic needs.  USAO WDTX

April 27, 2022

Dr. Josef Schenker and his urgent care facilities, Josef Schenker, M.D., P.C., and Care Partners Medical Management, LLC will pay $564,217.70 for violations of the False Claims Act, by submitting up-coded claims to Medicare related to administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Schenker and the two facilities provided higher-level CPT codes for services not actually provided, charging, e.g., for an office visit or exam when the patient only actually received a vaccine or a COVID test. EDNY

April 26, 2022

A former pharmacist in Mississippi named Mitchell Barrett has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution as well as forfeit all assets stemming from a $180 million healthcare fraud scheme against TRICARE and other health benefit programs.  Barrett had adjusted prescription formulas to ensure the highest possible reimbursement, solicited recruiters to procure prescriptions for expensive compounded drugs, paid those recruiters a commission based on reimbursements from TRICARE, routinely waived copayments required to be paid by TRICARE beneficiaries, and took steps to disguise the waived payments.  DOJ

April 21, 2022

Susan H. Poon, 57, will spend 70 months in federal prison, and will pay nearly $1.4 million in restitution for a scheme spanning over 3 years, and which resulted in approximately $2.2 million in fraudulent billings. Poon submitted prescriptions both with PII obtained at health fairs held by Costco and UPS, and by soliciting information from actual patients about their dependents—dependents whom Poon never saw or treated. Poon used the stolen PII to submit fraudulent durable medical equipment prescriptions to a DME manufacturer, who then unknowingly submitted false claims for reimbursement to a health insurer. In addition to the prison sentence and the owed restitution, Poon’s chiropractic license was revoked in 2019. USAO CDCA

April 13, 2022

Pharmacy owner Aleah Mohammed was sentenced to 78 months in prison for stealing more than $6.5 million from the government via her prescription fraud on Medicare and Medicaid drug plans. Mohammad submitted claims for drugs that weren’t dispensed, weren’t prescribed as claimed, were not medically necessary, or that were dispensed while the pharmacy was no longer registered with the State of New York. The proceeds were used by Mohammed and her family members to buy luxury vehicles, jewelry, and properties in Queens and Pocono Pines, Pennsylvania. USAO EDNY

April 12, 2022

Physician Partners of America LLC (PPOA), its founder Rodolfo Gari, and its former chief medical officer Dr. Abraham Rivera, have agreed to pay $24.5 million to settle allegations of violating the Stark Law, False Claims Act, and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).  The settlement resolved claims by whistleblowers Donald Haight, Dawn Baker, Dr. Harold Cho, Dr. Venus Dookwah-Roberts, and Dr. Michael Lupi, all currently or formerly employed with PPOA.  According to the whistleblowers and the government, PPOA allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary testing, paid illegal kickbacks to its physician employees, and made false statements on a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program.  USAO MDFL

April 6, 2022

Florida hospital chain BayCare Health System Inc. will pay $20 million to resolve claims that the company knowingly caused false claims for federal Medicaid matching funds to be submitted to the United States by making improper, non-bona fide cash donations to the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County (JWB) knowing that the funds would be transferred by JWB to the State of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration for Florida’s Medicaid Program, which would trigger a corresponding federal matching payment.  The prohibition on non-bona fide donations ensures that states are paying a share of Medicaid payments; the non-bona fide donations increased Medicaid payments received by BayCare without any actual expenditure of state or local funds and enabled BayCare to recoup its original donations to JWB and also receive federal matching funds. The case was initiated with a qui tam complaint filed by Larry Bomar, who will receive $5 million as an award for initiating the whistleblower action. DOJ; MD FL

March 31, 2022

Clinical laboratory Radeas LLC has agreed to pay $11.6 million to resolve claims that it submitted false claims to Medicare for medically-unnecessary urine drug tests.  As part of the settlement agreement, Radeas admitted that it regularly performed and billed Medicare for essentially simultaneous presumptive qualitative drug testing and confirmatory quantitative drug testing.  Without physician review of a presumptive test result, the separate, simultaneous confirmatory test was often not necessary.  Radeas also admitted that it paid third-party sales organizations based on the volume of UDT referrals in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.  USAO MA

March 30, 2022

Multiple sales representatives of Delaware-based pharmacy, Heritage Therapeutics, LLC have been ordered to forfeit and/or pay fines totaling over $8.7 million after they were found to have paid kickbacks to physicians in exchange for prescribing expensive compounded medications to TRICARE beneficiaries.  Additionally, Heritage and various executives have entered into a settlement agreement to resolve claims under the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.  USAO EDPA

March 28, 2022

A Pennsylvania-based psychiatrist and his wife have agreed to pay $3 million in the largest recovery against a single psychiatrist ever in the history of the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (OWCP).  From 2013 to 2021, Dr. Harry Doyle and his wife and sole employee, Sonya, allegedly billed OWCP for services that weren’t rendered, submitted double-billed and upcoded patient claims, and falsified patient records to reflect their false billing.  As part of the settlement, they will be excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs for 25 years.  USAO EDPA
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