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Lack of Medical Necessity

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud arising from medically unnecessary healthcare services. You may also be interested in our pages:

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September 15, 2021

A cardiologist in Florida who allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary procedures has agreed to pay $6.75 million to resolve claims under the False Claims Act.  Between 2013 and 2019, Dr. Ashish Pal allegedly made misrepresentations in patient medical records to justify ablations and vein stent procedures that were not reimbursable under program rules.  Additionally, some of the procedures were later found to have been performed primarily by unqualified ultrasound technicians.  As part of the settlement, Pal and Interventional Cardiology & Vascular Consultants, PLC, will enter in a multiyear integrity agreement and comply with training and reporting requirements, as well as a quarterly claims review by an independent organization.  USAO MDFL

September 3, 2021

A number of South Carolina pain management clinics, drug testing laboratories and other entities associated with chiropractor Daniel McCollum have had default judgments entered against them ordering the payment of $140 million.  The defendant entities, Oaktree Medical Centre P.C., FirstChoice Healthcare P.C., Labsource LLC, Pain Management Associates entities, ProLab LLC, and ProCare Counseling Center LLC, were alleged to have provided illegal financial incentives to providers to induce their referrals of urine drug tests in violation of the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute, and to have submitted false claims to federal healthcare programs for medically unnecessary urine drug testing, steroid injections, opioid prescriptions, and lidocaine ointment prescriptions.  The settlement resolves claims against the entities brought in three separate qui tam actions Donna Rauch, Muriel Calhoun, Brandy Knight, Karen Mathewson and Tracy Hawkins, former employees of pain management clinics owned or operated by McCollum. The government continues to pursue claims against McCollum.  DOJ; USAO SC

Catch of the Week: Florida Lab Owner Pleads Guilty to $73 Million Telemedicine Fraud Scheme

Posted  09/3/21
telemedicine doctor on computer with patient
Editor’s Note: For this week’s biggest story, the record $90 million settlement secured by a Constantine Cannon client against Sutter Health, read more here.
Healthcare fraudsters have a track record of exploiting health crises for personal gain. The COVID-19 pandemic created new telemedicine opportunities for patients to receive care without having to see doctors in person. As expected, fraudsters seized on...

August 25, 2021

A California-based provider of home respiratory services and durable medical equipment has agreed to pay $3.3 million to the United States and States of California and Nevada to settle allegations of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid.  The claims against SuperCare Health, Inc. were brought in a 2018 qui tam suit by respiratory therapist Benjamin Martinez, who alleged that the provider billed for non-invasive ventilators (NIVs) that were no longer needed or being used by patients.  CA AG; USAO CDCA

Medically Unnecessary Procedures Harm Patients, Raise U.S. Healthcare Costs, Atlantic Feature Emphasizes

Posted  08/20/21
surgeons operating on patient under bright lights
Unnecessary procedures have long plagued the U.S. healthcare system, costing taxpayers billions and subjecting thousands of patients to invasive procedures that sometimes do more harm than good. For decades, various government actors have acknowledged the problem.

Why then is it so difficult to prevent unnecessary procedures in the U.S.?

Reporter Chris Outcalt recently pondered in a piece for The Atlantic. The...

Catch of the Week: Telemedicine Company Owner Charged in $784 Million Kickback Scheme

Posted  08/20/21
Doctor on computer with patient discussing medicine
Underscoring the fraud risks associated with the government’s continued expansion and loosening of restrictions on telehealth, the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that a grand jury in New Jersey has returned a superseding indictment against the Florida owner of multiple telemedicine companies, referred to by DOJ prosecutors as the Video Doctor Network, for allegedly participating in a massive Medicare...

August 17, 2021

Following a voluntary self-disclosure to authorities, Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois, has agreed to pay $2.82 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims for the facility component of medically unnecessary cardiac catheterization procedures.  The federal government will receive $2.6 million of the settlement, with the remainder going to Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.  USAO CD IL

August 9, 2021

The owners of North Carolina compounding pharmacy Wellcare Compouding, David Tsui and Lois Tsui, paid $1.1 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims for payment to the TRICARE program in 2014 and 2015.  The government alleged that Wellcare made improper payments to physicians and “marketers” in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and encouraged medically unnecessary prescriptions consisting of high-margin ingredients in order to maximize the pharmacy’s reimbursement. David Tsui had been convicted of healthcare fraud in 2009 and was excluded from participation in federal healthcare programs; the government alleged that his involvement and ownership was intentionally concealed.  USAO MD NC

August 6, 2021

A county in California and a county medical center have agreed to pay $11.4 million to resolve allegations of improperly billing a federal healthcare program between 2013 and 2017.  According to whistleblower Felix Levy, a former employee of San Mateo County Medical Center (SMMC), San Mateo County and SMMC billed Medicare for uncovered hospital stays for patients that were admitted without regard to medical necessity.  USAO NDCA

August 5, 2021

Ascension Michigan and related hospitals, which allegedly billed federal healthcare programs for services performed by a gynecologic oncologist that were not medically necessary or rendered as represented, has agreed to pay $2.8 million to resolve their liability under the False Claims Act.  The settlement resolves claims from a 2017 qui tam suit by whistleblowers Pamela Satchwell, Dawn Kasdorf, and Bethany Silva-Gomez, that Ascension knowingly submitted claims for medically unnecessary hysterectomies and chemotherapy, and unrendered evaluation and management services.  Spurred by patient complaints, Ascension launched an internal investigation, ultimately self-disclosing the misconduct to the government in 2018.  As part of the settlement, Satchwell, Kasdorf, and Silva-Gomez will share in a $532,000 award.  USAO EDMI
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