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Healthcare Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to healthcare fraud.

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Top Ten Whistleblower Developments of 2019

Posted  02/6/20
Slingshot and stones
By any measure, 2019 was a Very Big Year for whistleblowers.  Our annual Top Ten lists identified 2019’s most significant financial recoveries by whistleblowers, as well as recoveries in enforcement actions at the federal and state level involving government procurement, healthcare, financial, tax, and other types of fraud.  But the numbers, as impressive as they are, can’t tell the full story of the impact that...

February 6, 2020

A patient recruiter in Kentucky has been sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay or forfeit over $1.2 million in total for accepting more than $1 million in kickbacks from home health agencies in exchange for providing information about Medicare beneficiaries.  The owner of Trumbo Consulting Agency in Virginia, Dominic Trumbo recruited and paid others to recruit over 4,000 Medicare beneficiaries for home health services by offering incentives to get them to sign up.  Trumbo then sold the information to home health agencies around the country in exchange for kickbacks, then created fake contracts and invoices to conceal the fraud from Medicare.  DOJ

February 4, 2020

Southeastern Retina Associates (SERA), which operates in parts of Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia, has agreed to pay $1.5 million and enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for allegedly defrauding Medicare and Medicaid.  The investigation was launched by a qui tam suit filed by an unnamed whistleblower, which alleged that between 2009 to 2016, the practice improperly billed exams at a higher rate than appropriate, and used a billing code called Modifier 25 to bill for exams that were not separately billable from other services billed the same day.  For exposing the misconduct, the relator in this case will receive a $270,000 share of the settlement.  USAO EDTN

February 3, 2020

Senthil Kumar Ramamurthy of Texas has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for participating in two fraud schemes that amounted to $9.6 million in losses by Medicare and TRICARE.  In the first scheme, which ran for 10 months in 2014, Ramamurthy and his co-conspirators were paid millions of dollars by compounding pharmacies to get TRICARE beneficiaries to sign up for medically unnecessary compounded prescription drugs.  To get beneficiaries to sign up, defendants had falsely represented that the drugs would be free, when in fact co-payments were required.  In the second scheme, which ran from 2015 onward, Ramamurthy and his co-conspirators paid doctors to refer Medicare beneficiaries—without first examining them—for needless genetic cancer screening tests.  Many of Ramamurthy's co-conspirators have plead guilty and face sentencing later this month.  USAO SDFL

Opioid Executive Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison for Role in Healthcare Fraud Scheme

Posted  01/31/20
opioid pills scattered around
Insys Therapeutics, an opioid manufacturer whose main product is Subsys, a spray from of fentanyl that is 100 times stronger than morphine and cost tens of thousands a month, is in the news again. The company and its former CEO, John Kapoor, have been facing a mountain of legal issues in the past three years. Last week, in a decision that most of our readers agree with, Kapoor was sentenced to 66 months in prison. 

Top Ten State Healthcare and Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2019

Posted  01/30/20
mount-rushmore-and-state-flags
Here at Constantine Cannon, our attorneys represent whistleblowers reporting a wide variety of healthcare fraud and financial fraud, including government contract fraud, unlawful kickbacks, tax evasion, and more. While such wrongful conduct often violates federal laws, state governments are also important enforcement authorities. For whistleblowers, state enforcement can offer additional opportunities.  New York,...

January 30, 2020

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $344 million to the State of California for misrepresenting the safety of its pelvic mesh implants, which were sold from 2008 to 2014 and have resulted in over 35,000 personal injury lawsuits nationwide.  The State of California brought suit in 2016 after finding the company failed to inform patients and their doctors of possible severe complications, including chronic pain and permanent dysfunctional elimination.  Johnson and Johnson previously settled similar allegations with some 40 other states, for $117 million, in October of last year.  CA AG

January 29, 2020

A Florida-based physician, Erik Schabert, and his ex-wife, Mika Harris, have been sentenced to 3.5 years and 3 months in prison, and ordered to pay almost $4.5 million in restitution to Blue Cross Blue Shield for attempting to defraud the insurer and the Medicare program of more than $8 million.  Between 2013 and 2016, the two owners and operators of Reliant Family Practice falsely diagnosed actinic keratosis and rosacea in order to make fraudulent claims for chemical peels and dermabrasions.  Along with prison time and restitution, the two have forfeited their private residence, commercial property, and over $260,000 in an annuity account, to the federal government.  USAO NDFL

Catch of the Week: Practice Fusion Pays $145 Million for EHR Kickbacks and Misrepresentations about Software

Posted  01/28/20
Healthcare providers talk about the importance of behavioral “nudges” – gentle pushes to encourage healthy choices and positive behaviors. In our Catch of the Week, healthcare providers were nudged to prescribe highly addictive extended-release opioids in a manner that was not consistent with accepted medical standards. Who nudged them? Their own electronic health records system, which was paid to do so by the...

January 27, 2020

Practice Fusion, Inc., a provider of electronic health records systems, will pay $145 million to resolve criminal and civil charges that it accepted unlawful kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies and misrepresented the capabilities of its EHR software.  As part of the settlement, the defendant entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, paying $26 million in criminal fines and forfeitures, agreeing to compliance policies and monitoring, and admitting that it accepted payment from an unnamed opioid manufacturer in exchange for including "clinical decision support" alerts within its EHR system that were designed to increase prescriptions for the pharma company's drugs.  The civil settlement – $119 million for the federal government and up to an additional $5.2 million for states that choose to opt in – resolves the kickback allegations related to the opioid manufacturer and 13 other such arrangements, as well as allegations that Practice Fusion knowingly misrepresented the capabilities of its EHR system in order to secure federal certification for the software and secure eligibility for federal incentive payments for providers adopting its software.  DOJ; USAO VT
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