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March 24, 2022

A New York woman who defrauded the state out of millions of dollars has been sentenced to 3 to 9 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution.  According to the Attorney General’s Office, Leslie Montgomery lured low-income New Yorkers to Health Living Community Center under the guise of helping them find housing, then used their information to submit false claims to a Medicaid-funded managed care organization.  The claims for custom-molded back braces were medically unnecessary and not requested by or provided to the intended recipients.  Montgomery then hid the illegal proceeds through multiple shell companies, including LCM Livery P/U, Inc.  NY AG

March 8, 2022

Eugene Sisco, III of Kentucky, the owner and operator of several medication assisted treatment (MAT) clinics for opioid addiction, has been sentenced to over 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $5.7 million in restitution, after being convicted of healthcare fraud.  Sisco was found to have tricked Medicaid patients into paying hundreds of dollars in cash each month for MAT services which he later billed and was reimbursed by Medicaid for.  Sisco’s laboratory, Toxperts, LLC, was also found to have billed Medicare for medically unnecessary urine drug tests, causing a loss of over $2 million to CMS.  USAO EDKY

March 7, 2022

Pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt ARD LLC will pay $260 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in the sale and marketing of its drug H.P. Acthar Gel.  The government intervened in whistleblower actions alleging that Mallinckrodt and its predecessor Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. knowingly underpaid state Medicaid programs by improperly calculating amounts it owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, and unlawfully used a foundation as a conduit to subsidize co-payments.  With respect to the Medicaid rebate claims, which represent $234.7 million of the settlement, defendants were alleged to have calculated rebate amounts as if Acthar was a “new drug” first marketed in 2013, rather than a drug that had been approved since 1952.  By using 2013 for Acthar’s Base Date Average Manufacturer Price (AMP), the company ignored price increases prior to 2013 and fraudulently reduced Acthar drug rebates.  With respect to the copayment fraud claims, which represent $26.3 million of the settlement, defendants were alleged to have violated the Anti-Kickback Statute by subsidizing copayments through payments to three funds that Mallinckrodt had a foundation set up to induce Medicare-reimbursed purchases of Acthar, using the subsidies to counteract doctor and patient concerns about the drug’s high cost.  The whistleblower in the Medicaid rebate case, James Landolt will receive an award of $24.7 million, representing 20% of the $123.6 million federal share of that settlement; the relator’s share for the state share of the settlement was not announced.  The whistleblowers in the copayment case, Charles Strunck and Lisa Pratta, will receive an award of $4.9 million, representing 19% of that settlement.  The settlement includes a five-year corporate integrity agreement (CIA) with monitoring provisions.  DOJ; USAO MA; USAO EDPA

March 7, 2022

Redwood Toxicology Laboratory has agreed to pay nearly $4.8 million to settle allegations that the California-based urine drug testing service overcharged the Connecticut Medicaid program for certain laboratory services, in violation of Connecticut’s “Most Favored Nation” regulation, which provides that the state should not be charged more than the lowest price charged to third parties.  The settlement covered claims submitted between January 2015 through February 2018.  USAO CT

March 3, 2022

New York-based ophthalmologist Ameet Goyal, M.D., who owned and operated Rye Eye Associates, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and ordered to pay $3.6 million in forfeiture as well as $3.6 million in restitution for submitting $3.6 million in upcoded charges to Medicare, private insurers, and patients between 2010 and 2017.  While facing charges for healthcare fraud in 2020, Goyal also falsely certified that he was not facing any criminal charges in order to obtain over $600,000 in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.  USAO SDNY

February 2, 2022

New York healthcare provider The Door - A Center for Alternatives has agreed to pay $12.9 million to resolve claims that it submitted false claims for reimbursement to New York's Indigent Care Pool, which is funded by Medicaid.  The Door was required to submit annual cost reports to New York reporting figures including the number of "threshold visits" to its ambulatory diagnostic and treatment center.  A qui tam case initiated by two whistleblowers alleged that defendant knowingly inflated the number of threshold visits to increase payments.   SDNY

February 1, 2022

Two North Carolina medical providers will pay nearly $1.5 million combined for submitting false claims to the Medicaid program. Knowles, Smith, & Associates LLP will pay $1,150,000 to resolve allegations spanning five years of failure to monitor their anesthesia billing by not providing services billed, administering medically unnecessary procedures, or failing to maintain sufficient supporting documentation. Stacy Benton Lewis, M.D., and the Center for Women’s Health, P.A. will pay $340,000 to resolve false billing allegations covering a four-year period for submitting claims for complex visits that did not occur. NC DOJ

January 28, 2022

Hayat Pharmacy agreed to pay over $2 Million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for certain prescription medications from its 23 locations. The government alleged Hayat Pharmacy submitted false claims for two prescription medications, a topical cream consisting of iodoquinol, hydrocortisone, and aloe, and a multivitamin with the trade name Azesco.  Hayat Pharmacy allegedly switched Medicaid and Medicare patients from lower cost medications to the higher cost medications without any medical need and/or without a valid prescription. As part of the settlement, Hayat Pharmacy agreed to conduct annual training concerning waste, fraud and abuse, and compliance with rules concerning medication switches. USAO WI

January 31, 2022

Cardinal Health agreed to pay more than $13 Million to settle allegations it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act by paying “upfront discounts” to its physician practices. According to the government, Cardinal Health recruited new customers by offering and paying cash bonuses that were not attributable to identifiable sales or were purported rebates which Cardinal Health’s customers had not actually earned. In connection with the settlement, the whistleblowers who brought the case will receive approximately $2.6 million of the recovery. USAO MA

January 12, 2022

Six medical practices affiliated with Interventional Pain Management Center P.C. (IPMC), as well as physician-owner Dr. Amit Poonia, have agreed to pay nearly $7.5 million to resolve allegations of defrauding Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.  In a qui tam suit by Anu Doddapaneni and Christian Reyes, the whistleblowers alleged that Poonia and IPMC violated the False Claims Act by using a billing code that mischaracterized P-Stim and NeuroStim treatments—which transmit electrical pulses through needles placed just under the skin of a patient’s ear—as surgical implantation requiring anesthesia.  USAO EDNY
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