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Improper Medical Personnel

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to healthcare billings for unlicensed, unsupervised, or otherwise improper personnel. You may also be interested in our pages:

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December 4, 2020

Joint Active Systems, Inc. (JAS), a durable medical equipment manufacturer, and New England Orthotics & Prosthetics, LLP (NEOPS) have agreed to pay $1.59 million and $90,000 respectively to resolve allegations of defrauding multiple federal healthcare programsincluding TRICARE, Medicare, and Medicaid programs in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Islandthrough a variety of fraudulent schemes.  According to a qui tam suit filed by two former NEOPS employees, JAS allegedly recruited NEOPS to bill Medicare and Medicaid for custom-fabricated orthotics that were not custom-fabricated orthotics, nor medically necessary, and falsely claim that JAS-affiliated sales representatives were properly trained to treat patients during fittings.  Additionally, JAS allegedly overcharged the VA for its devices by as much as 300%.  For blowing the whistle on these fraud schemes, the whistleblowers will receive a 17% share of the settlement proceeds.  USAO MA

October 2, 2020

Two New York-based physical therapy providers have agreed to pay $4 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations of violating the False Claims Act by improperly billing multiple government healthcare programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act Program (FECA), and the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).  The alleged misconduct by Williamsburg Physical Therapy, P.C., Euro Physical Therapy, P.C., owners Alex and Diana Klurfeld, and management company First Plus Services, Inc. occurred between 2008 to 2018, and involved billing for physical therapy services provided or supervised by someone other than the licensed therapist listed on claims, as well as backdating services after treatment authorizations had expired.  USAO EDNY

September 9, 2020

Southern California radiology facility operators William M. Kelly Inc. and Omega Imaging Inc. paid $5 million to resolve claims initiated by a qui tam action under the False Claims Act filed by former employee Syd Ackerman.  The action alleged that defendants submitted claims for CT scans and MRIs involving contrast injections that were not supervised by a physician as required by applicable program rules.  The whistleblower will receive $925,000 of the settlement.  DOJ

April 10, 2020

To settle fraud allegations by four relators in three qui tam suits, Michigan-based Encore Rehabilitation Services LLC has agreed to pay $4 million to the United States.  According to Linda Anderson, Reza Saffarian and Audrey Theile, and Adam LaFerriere, from roughly 2010 to 2018, the owner and operator of over 600 healthcare facilities allegedly caused three of its skilled nursing facilities to submit false claims to Medicare for services that were not medically necessary, reasonable, or provided by skilled therapists, and improperly billed group therapy sessions as if they were individual therapy sessions.  DOJ; USAO EDMI; USAO WDMI

March 11, 2020

Millennium Physicians Association PLLC, d/b/a Millennium Respiratory & Sleep Disorder Specialists, has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations of fraud in connection with two sleep centers in Texas.  From 2015 to 2019, Millennium allegedly violated Medicare rules and the False Claims Act by improperly billing Medicare for sleep studies conducted without the presence of properly credentialed technicians.  As part of the settlement, the anonymous relator will receive a $187,344  share of the settlement.  USAO SDTX

Catch of the Week: Guardian Elder Care

Posted  02/21/20
person holding elder's hand
This week's DOJ Catch of the Week goes to Guardian Elder Care.  On Wednesday, the operator of more than 50 nursing homes in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia agreed to pay roughly $15.5 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by billing the government -- Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program -- for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services.  According to...

February 19, 2020

Guardian Elder Care Holdings, Inc. has agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle claims of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid.  In a qui tam suit filed in 2015, whistleblowers Philippa Krauss and Julie White alleged that from 2011 to 2017, the Pennsylvania-based nursing home chain pressured its therapists to provide medically unnecessary rehabilitation to patients suffering from dementia or dying in hospice care in order to boost its profits.  During the subsequent government investigation, Guardian Elder Care self-disclosed that it had also billed federal healthcare programs for services performed by two excluded individuals.  As part of the settlement, Guardian Elder Care has entered into a chain-wide Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, and Krauss and White will split a $2.8 million relator's share.  USAO EDPA; USAO WDPA

January 6, 2020

A now defunct behavioral health clinic, Tree of Life, Inc., and its owners and operators, Ada and Victor Vidal, have agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle a whistleblower's claims that they violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute in claims to Pennsylvania's Medicaid program.  According to Erika Desjardins, the former Clinical Director, Tree of Life billed for therapy sessions where either the patient or therapist could not possibly have attended (in some cases due to a patient’s hospitalization or death), as well as therapy sessions provided by unqualified individuals.  To facilitate the fraud scheme, it created fake records, including forged signatures, and improperly paid a social worker for patient referrals.  As part of the settlement, the Vidals have been excluded from future participation in federal healthcare programs, and Desjardins, who had been fired for reporting internally, will receive $330,000 as their share of the recovery.  USAO EDPA

January 2, 2020

Two physicians in the San Diego area have agreed to pay nearly $1 million to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing Medicare for care provided by an uncredentialed physician.  The fraudulent conduct by Drs. Mark Smith and Fane Robinson of San Diego Retina Associates was revealed in a qui tam lawsuit by fellow ophthalmologist and former partner, Dr. Atul Jain, who will receive $170,778 of the settlement proceeds.  USAO SDCA
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