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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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January 29, 2019

Two doctors and a health clinic owner in the Houston area have each been sentenced to decades in prison following their convictions for Medicare fraud. In one case involving three defendants—clinic owner Ann Shepherd, doctor John Ramirez, and Yvette Nwoko—Medicare paid over $17 million in fraudulent claims resulting from false certifications related to services not medically necessary or properly provided. Defendants Shepherd was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and ordered to pay $20 million; Ramirez was sentenced to 25 years in priosn and ordered to pay $26 million; Nwoko awaits sentencing. In a second case, related case, doctor Anh Do was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay almost $2 million in restitution on similar charges. DOJ 1; DOJ 2

January 15, 2019

New York has reached a $9 million settlement with Diamond Braces, a chain of dental offices, and its principal Oleg Drut, DDS, for false claims Diamond made to NY's Medicaid program for orthodontic procedures that were performed by personnel who were not certified to perform the work they did as required by NY state law.  NY

December 19, 2018

A vascular surgeon and his practice group, Dr. Irfan Siddiqui and the Heart and Vascular Institute of Florida (HAVI), have agreed to pay $2.23 million to settle a False Claims Act brought by a whistleblower, Lois Hawks, who had been a patient of the doctor.  Defendants were alleged to have submitted false claims for vein ablation services that were not medically necessary, were performed by unqualified personnel, or were based on medical records containing false diagnoses and symptoms.  In addition, defendants were alleged to have upcoded evaluation and management service claims.  Ms. Haws will receive a relator's share of $446,000USAO MDFL

December 11, 2018

A New York-based audiology practice has agreed to pay $566,263.08 in connection with alleged violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute. According to an unnamed whistleblower, Oviatt Hearing and Balance, LLC improperly billed Medicare and TRICARE for services rendered by unlicensed and unsupervised employees, as well as provided inappropriate inducements in the form of free iPads, Butterball turkeys, and gift cards, to Medicare and TRICARE beneficiaries to get them to choose Oviatt over other providers. For their role in exposing the fraud, the whistleblower stands to receive a relator's share of $120,000. USAO NDNY

December 4, 2018

Dermatology Associates of Central New York, PLLC has agreed to pay $811,196.88 to settle claims that it overcharged Medicaid, Medicare, and TRICARE by falsely submitting claims under physicians' names, in violation of both the federal and New York False Claims Acts. A whistleblower complaint revealed that many of the physicians named on invoices were not in the office the day care was provided and could not have supervised in the rendering of services, and that some of the non-physician practitioners who provided care were not licensed to do so in the state of New York. As a result of bringing the fraud to light, the unnamed whistleblower will receive $138,000. USAO NDNY

November 26, 2018

Vital Energy Occupational Therapy and Wellness Center, LLC agreed to pay $200,000 to settle charges that between 2013 and 2016 it submitted false claims for physical and occupational therapy services.  The therapy practice was alleged to have submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for individual therapy services, when group therapy was actually provided, and claims for therapy services with false practitioner information using the names of former employees.  Whistleblower Ashley C. Baggett, who filed the False Claims Act action, will receive $36,000.  USAO S.C.

October 24, 2018

The owners and operators of two community mental health clinics in Pennsylvania and North Carolina have entered into a $3 million consent judgment with the United States to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act. In 2000, Melchor Martinez was convicted of Medicaid fraud by the State of Pennsylvania and subsequently banned from owning and operating health clinics or seeking reimbursement from all federally funded healthcare programs. Despite this, he allegedly continued to own and operate three chains of mental health clinics—including Northeast Community Health Centers, Lehigh Valley Community Mental Health Centers, and Carolina Community Mental Health Centers—by enlisting the help of his wife, Melissa Chlebowski, to act as the true owner and operator. In addition, the two allegedly failed to operate according to rules set by Medicare and Medicaid, including seeing patients for only 2-3 minutes and billing for 15, and billing for services provided by unqualified staff. They were eventually outed in a qui tam lawsuit filed by a former employee. USAO EDPA

September 27, 2018

Millicent Traylor, M.D., of Detroit, Michigan was sentenced to over 11 years in prison today for her part in a health care scheme against Medicare from 2011 to 2016. Traylor and her co-conspirators defrauded Medicare of an estimated $8.9 million during that period. They submitted fraudulent claims for home health care services and other services which were not provided or not medically necessary. At times, the physician services which were provided were provided by Dr. Traylor, though she was unlicensed during that period. Furthermore, evidence presented during the four-day trial showed that Traylor forged the signature of licensed physicians on prescriptions for opioid medications, oxycodone for instance, as a way to encourage patient participation in the scheme. Traylor’s three co-conspirators will also serve time in prison.  DOJ  

July 31, 2018

Compassionate Home Care Services, Inc., its owner Carol Anders, and her son Ryan Santiago will pay a $3 million judgment for violating the federal and North Carolina False Claims Acts by filing reimbursement claims for services not rendered or rendered by unlicensed aides and family members. Anders and Santiago were also found to have falsified documents to conceal evidence of fraud upon being investigated by the government. USAO EDNC

July 2, 2018

Virginia in-home healthcare provider Hope In-Home Care, LLC, will pay $3.3 million to resolve allegations that it fraudulently billed Medicaid for a series of false statements and billing related to the provision of personal care services.  Specifically, the USAO and Virginia Attorney General alleged that Hope In-Home Care billed for services that it did not perform and for services provided by uncertified personal care aides, and it falsified records to conceal these frauds.  USAO EDVA
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