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Medicaid

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Catch of the Week: Pharmacy Owner Convicted in $174 Million Telehealth Fraud That Targeted Consumers and PBMs

Posted  12/10/21
Pharmacists discussing medication
In yet another example of how unscrupulous providers can take advantage of the benefits of telehealth (or telemedicine) to commit healthcare fraud, on December 2, 2021, a federal jury in Tennessee convicted Peter Bolos, the owner and operator of Synergy Pharmacy, located in Florida, of 22 criminal counts, including violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by introducing a misbranded drug into interstate...

December 2, 2021

Texas-based Flower Mound Hospital Partners LLC has agreed to pay $18 million and enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement to resolve fraud allegations.  According to Leslie Jennings, M.D., one of many physician-owners, when Flower Mound repurchased shares from physician-owners nearing retirement age and resold them to younger physicians, the company allegedly improperly took into account the value of each physician’s referrals in selecting to whom and how many shares would be resold.  Claims arising from these referrals were then knowingly submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, Physician Self-Referral Law, and False Claims Act.  For initiating a lawsuit that resulted in a successful enforcement action, Jennings will receive a $3 million share of the settlement.  DOJ

October 28, 2021

Rehab Authority, LLC, a physical therapy provider in Minnesota, has agreed to pay $4 million to resolve allegations by whistleblower Cami Lane that it violated the False Claims Act.  RehabAuthority clinics had allegedly submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and the Veterans Health Administration for one-on-one outpatient physical therapy that was not provided.  USAO MN

October 25, 2021

Curant, Inc., which owns pharmacies in Florida and Georgia, has agreed to pay $4.6 million to resolve allegations of paying kickbacks to a third-party marketer, waiving mandatory copays from patients, and overbilling TRICARE for compound pain and scar creams.  The alleged misconduct occurred between 2013 and 2015.  USAO NDGA

Catch of the Week: Laboratory and Two Founders Will Pay up to $16M Over Fraudulent Billing for Urine Drug Testing

Posted  10/22/21
Person wearing lab coat in laboratory
Clinical laboratory MD Labs Inc., and co-founders and owners, Denis Grizelj and Matthew Rutledge, settled charges the lab falsely billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal payors for pricey and unnecessary urine drug tests. Over a four-year period, the lab regularly ran two different drug tests at once and then sent results from both tests to the ordering healthcare physician simultaneously, according to the...

October 20, 2021

MD Spine Solutions LLC, d/b/a MD Labs Inc., and its owners, co-founders Denis Grizelj and Matthew Rutledge, have agreed to pay up to $16 million to settle fraud allegations raised by an unnamed whistleblower.  MD Labs had allegedly billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs for presumptive urine drug testing as well as confirmatory urine drug testing run on the same samples, which is frequently baseless or useless.  USAO MA

Catch of the Week: Private Equity Firm and Former Executives of a Mental Health Center Reach $25 Million Medicaid Settlement

Posted  10/15/21
dollar bill with Medicaid text ripped through
In recent years there has been a proliferation of private equity firms taking oversight of healthcare entities. These private equity firms have increased their exposure to False Claims Act liability by playing active roles in the operation of healthcare entities, and multiple settlements have been reached over the last two years (on kickbacks and promotion of unapproved use of drug-device systems on pediatric...

October 14, 2021

Owners and executives of Massachusetts mental health provider South Bay Mental Health Center, Inc. have agreed to pay $25 million to resolve claims that they caused the submission of false claims to the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth, by billing for services provided by unlicensed, unqualified, and improperly supervised staff members in violation of MassHealth regulations. Defendants  H.I.G. Growth Partners, LLC and H.I.G. Capital, LLC will pay $19.95 million and defendants Peter J. Scanlon and Kevin P. Sheehan, who held executive and board positions at relevant entities, will pay $5.05 million.  The case was initiated by the filing of a whistleblower complaint under the Massachusetts False Claims Act.  SBMHC previously agreed to pay $4 million to resolve related charges.  Mass

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
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