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June 2, 2022

Middle Georgia Family Rehab (MGFR) has been ordered to pay $9.6 million in damages after a judge for the Middle District of Georgia found the facility had fraudulently billed TRICARE and Medicaid.  In an April order granting partial summary judgment, the Court determined that approximately 800 claims submitted to federal healthcare programs were billed under therapists who were not employed at MGFR at the time of alleged service.  USAO MDGA

June 2, 2022

Aerospace company Numet Machining Techniques, LLC and related entities have agreed to pay $5.2 million after voluntarily disclosing to the government that Numet, which had certified itself as a small business concern, had affiliations with other businesses that, the government alleged, made it ineligible for 22 small business set-aside contracts that it had been awarded during the relevant time period.  USAO CT

June 1, 2022

Behavioral health provider Healthkeeperz, Inc. has agreed to pay $2.1 million to resolve allegations that it falsely billed North Carolina’s Medicaid program for services that were not covered.  The allegations arose from a lawsuit filed by Ginger Hill under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act and the North Carolina False Claims Act.  USAO WD NC; NC

June 1, 2022

Caris Life Sciences, Inc. will pay $2.9 million to resolve claims that it falsely billed Medicare for laboratory tests to detect the activity of certain genes within a tumor that predicted the risk of recurrence by fraudulently circumventing Medicare’s 14-day rule, which, during the relevant time period, prohibited laboratories from separately billing Medicare for tests performed on specimens if a physician ordered the test within 14 days of the patient’s discharge from a hospital stay.  By submitting separate claims for the laboratory tests, Medicare paid twice for the same service, first to the hospital as part of the hospital’s lump-sum DRG payment, and in a direct payment to Caris.  Caris allegedly discouraged providers from ordering testing within 14 days of discharge, or canceled and re-submitted orders to avoid the 14 day window.  The settlement covers two separate whistleblower actions.  USAO EDNY

May 25, 2022

Textile manufacturer HEYtex USA will pay $3 million to resolve an action brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act alleging that the company knowingly supplied fabrics to the U.S. military that failed to meet contract specifications, and falsely certified that its military-grade fabrics met specifications when, in fact, they had failed to pass required testing.  The whistleblower first reported the falsified test results to company management, but was initially ignored.  USAO WD Va

May 24, 2022

Dr. Roger Wang will pay over $1 million for violations of the False Claims Act committed by charging Medicare for non-FDA-approved drugs and associated services. Dr. Wang, a rheumatology specialist, injected his patients with drugs like Synvisc, Synvisc One, or Orthovisc—vicosupplements used to treat osteoarthritis pain—that were not FDA-approved for distribution in the US, and therefore not billable to Medicare. USAO NDCA

May 19, 2022

Healthcare testing company VirtuOx, Inc. agreed to pay $3.15 million to resolve claims brought in an action initiated by a whistleblower alleging that falsely billed Medicare for pulse oximetry testing.  VirtuOx allegedly reported San Francisco as the location for overnight pulse oximetry testing when, in fact, no services were performed at that location, but that location resulted in a higher Medicare reimbursement.  In addition, VirtuOx allegedly billed Medicare for both oxygen “spot checks” and overnight pulse oximetry testing, when only the overnight testing was performed.  The whistleblower, Amber Watt, will receive an award of $630,000.  USAO SD FL

May 18, 2022

Seven companies in South Korea have agreed to a joint settlement of $3.1 million to resolve allegations that they conspired to suppress and eliminate competition in bidding on 15 contracts for construction and engineering work on U.S. military bases in South Korea awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 2016 and 2019.  The government alleged that as a result of the bid-rigging by the companies, Korea Engineering Consultants Corporation, Yul Lim Construction Co. Ltd., Shin Woo Construction & Industrial Co. Ltd., Seongbo Const. Ind. Co. Ltd., Wooseok Construction Co. Ltd., Yuil Engineering and Construction Co., and Seokwang Development Co. Ltd., the government paid substantially more for services performed under the contracts than it otherwise would have.  DOJ

May 18, 2022

Peter Bolos and Michael Palso, owners of Synergy Pharmacy, were sentenced to 14 years and 33 months in prison, respectively, and each will pay $24.6 million in restitution for defrauding pharmacy benefit managers into authorizing millions of dollars in claims paid to pharmacies controlled by the defendants. Bolos will forfeit an additional $2.5 million. The conspiracy involved cold-calling patients and deceiving them into accepting certain drugs (i.e., pain creams, scar creams, and vitamins) and providing their personal insurance information to receive them. The scheme impacted both private and public insurers, including Medicaid and TRICARE. DOJ, USAO EDTN

May 16, 2022

Oklahoma Heart Hospital South, LLC paid over $1.1 million to settle alleged violations of the False Claims Act. An OHHS internal review and audit exposed Medicare billing irregularities related to their Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation services, which they self-disclosed to the government. The US government’s follow-up investigation, with which OHHS cooperated, revealed that for a 6-year period—from 2013 to 2019—OHHS physicians failed to complete and update patients’ individualized treatment plans for care that lasted longer than 30 days. The settlement is not an admission of OHHS’ liability, and the government did not concede any of its claims. WDOK USAO
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