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Medicaid

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to Medicaid and fraud in the Medicaid program. You may also be interested in our pages:

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August 30, 2023

Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC) has agreed to pay $5 million to resolve allegations of causing false claims to be submitted to California’s Medicaid program.  Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medi-Cal received federal funds to expand coverage to previously uninsured adults.  However, LVMC knowingly claimed and received payments from the government for services that were duplicative, not reimbursable, or not priced at fair market value.  CA AG

August 18, 2023

A doctor who defrauded California’s Medicaid program of over $20 million has been sentenced to 5 years in jail, ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution, and forced to surrender his medical license.  Mohamed Waddah El-Nachef had pleaded guilty to prescribing medically unnecessary anti-psychotics, HIV medications, and opioids to over a thousand Medi-Cal beneficiaries, many of whom then sold the drugs for cash.  CA AG

August 8, 2023

Pharmaceutical drug manufacturers Shire PLC, Baxter International Inc., Baxalta Inc., Viropharma Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., and Takeda Pharmaceuticals America have agreed to pay more than $42 million to settle a qui tam suit alleging violations of the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act.  According to an unnamed whistleblower, the companies allegedly directly or indirectly provided payments or nursing services to Medicaid providers in exchange for referrals or recommendations of a particular drug.  TX AG

August 4, 2023

Aspirar Medical Lab LLC and owner Pick Chay have agreed to pay almost $2 million to resolve allegations of defrauding the North Carolina Medicaid program.  The company allegedly paid two other companies for referring medically unnecessary urine drug tests to it, then submitted claims stemming from these illegal kickbacks to Medicaid.  NC AG

July 11, 2023

The owner of one of California’s largest chains of pain management clinics has agreed to pay nearly $11.4 million to the federal government and the states of California and Oregon to settle allegations of defrauding Medicare and state Medicaid programs of millions of dollars.  A nearly four-year investigation by government data analysts found that Dr. Francis Lagattuta and his business, Lags Medical Clinics—which operates more than 20 facilities in California and Oregon—billed the healthcare programs for medically unnecessary tests and procedures that were provided to every patient as part of clinic protocols.  The investigation also found that patients who did not consent to such procedures had their pain medication reduced.  Furthermore, a respiratory therapist who was the spouse of an executive was recruited to interpret certain test results despite having no formal medical training.  In addition to the monetary penalty, Dr. Lagattuta is also barred from serving Medi-Cal beneficiaries for the next five years.  CA AG

June 21, 2023

Skilled nursing facility Alta Vista Healthcare & Wellness Centre and its management company Rockport Healthcare Services have agreed to pay $3.8 million to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to physicians to induce referrals of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to its center.  The violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, federal False Claims Act, and California False Claims Act were uncovered during a government investigation, and showed illegal kickbacks in the form of cash, gifts, and salaries paid from 2009 through 2019.  CA AG; DOJ

June 13, 2023

The owner of Grace Healthcare Services, a home health company in Texas, has been sentenced to almost 5 years in prison and ordered to pay almost $1.5 million in restitution for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program.  Akintunde Oyewale was convicted of paying illegal kickbacks to medical clinics in exchange for false home health certifications and patient referrals, then billing the Texas Medicaid program for services that were medically unnecessary and not actually provided.  TX AG

May 25, 2023

Vascular surgeon Vasso Godiali of Michigan has been ordered to pay $19.5 million in restitution and serve over 6 years in prison to resolve criminal allegations of defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. Godiali also agreed to pay up to $43.4 million to resolve civil allegations of violating the False Claims Act.  Although Godiali allegedly began submitting false claims in 2009, his misconduct did not come to light until a 2015 qui tam suit by Innovative Solutions Consulting LLC, which alleged Godiali billed government programs for arterial thrombectomies and stent placements that were not medically necessary and not actually performed.  Additionally, Godiali allegedly falsified medical records to justify the procedures, and improperly used a modifier code to increase his reimbursements. DOJ

March 29, 2023

Michigan-based Covenant Healthcare System and two physicians, neurosurgeon Dr. Mark Adams and electrophysiologist Dr. Asim Yunus, have agreed to pay $69 million and about $406,500 and $346,000 respectively to resolve allegations of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, and False Claims Act.  Covenant allegedly provided Dr. Yunus and five other physicians medical directorship roles, employed Dr. Adams, forgave rent payments from another physician, and permitted a physician group to secure a lease on advantageous terms in exchange for referrals.  Covenant then submitted false claims based on those referrals to Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.  The claims were first raised by Dr. Stacy Goldsholl in a qui tam suit; Goldsholl will receive over $12 million from the three settlements.  USAO EDMI

March 29, 2023

A man who led a scheme to defraud New York’s Medicaid program has been sentenced to almost 8 years in prison, ordered to pay $8.5 million in restitution, and ordered to forfeit $8.5 million in ill-gotten gains.  While supervising more than a dozen others affiliated with KJ Transportation C Services Inc. (“KJ”), Julio Alvarado submitted or caused to be submitted false claims for transportation services to Medicaid beneficiaries, for which KJ was ultimately paid $20 million.  However, in many of those cases, the beneficiary was deceased or out of the country at the time of the alleged transport, or had never heard of or taken rides with KJ.  In other instances, the beneficiary received kickbacks from KJ in exchange for their Medicaid information.  USAO SDNY
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