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Medical Billing Fraud

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May 19, 2022

Healthcare testing company VirtuOx, Inc. agreed to pay $3.15 million to resolve claims brought in an action initiated by a whistleblower alleging that falsely billed Medicare for pulse oximetry testing.  VirtuOx allegedly reported San Francisco as the location for overnight pulse oximetry testing when, in fact, no services were performed at that location, but that location resulted in a higher Medicare reimbursement.  In addition, VirtuOx allegedly billed Medicare for both oxygen “spot checks” and overnight pulse oximetry testing, when only the overnight testing was performed.  The whistleblower, Amber Watt, will receive an award of $630,000.  USAO SD FL

May 16, 2022

Oklahoma Heart Hospital South, LLC paid over $1.1 million to settle alleged violations of the False Claims Act. An OHHS internal review and audit exposed Medicare billing irregularities related to their Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation services, which they self-disclosed to the government. The US government’s follow-up investigation, with which OHHS cooperated, revealed that for a 6-year period—from 2013 to 2019—OHHS physicians failed to complete and update patients’ individualized treatment plans for care that lasted longer than 30 days. The settlement is not an admission of OHHS’ liability, and the government did not concede any of its claims. WDOK USAO

April 29, 2022

Eargo Inc., which sells direct-to-consumer hearing aid devices to customers nationwide, has agreed to pay $34.37 million to resolve allegations of defrauding the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) over a four-year period.  Eargo allegedly submitted or caused to be submitted claims that contained unsupported diagnosis codes, even though an internal review of its billing and coding practices should have detected the error.  DOJ

April 27, 2022

Dr. Josef Schenker and his urgent care facilities, Josef Schenker, M.D., P.C., and Care Partners Medical Management, LLC will pay $564,217.70 for violations of the False Claims Act, by submitting up-coded claims to Medicare related to administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Schenker and the two facilities provided higher-level CPT codes for services not actually provided, charging, e.g., for an office visit or exam when the patient only actually received a vaccine or a COVID test. EDNY

April 21, 2022

Susan H. Poon, 57, will spend 70 months in federal prison, and will pay nearly $1.4 million in restitution for a scheme spanning over 3 years, and which resulted in approximately $2.2 million in fraudulent billings. Poon submitted prescriptions both with PII obtained at health fairs held by Costco and UPS, and by soliciting information from actual patients about their dependents—dependents whom Poon never saw or treated. Poon used the stolen PII to submit fraudulent durable medical equipment prescriptions to a DME manufacturer, who then unknowingly submitted false claims for reimbursement to a health insurer. In addition to the prison sentence and the owed restitution, Poon’s chiropractic license was revoked in 2019. USAO CDCA

March 28, 2022

A Pennsylvania-based psychiatrist and his wife have agreed to pay $3 million in the largest recovery against a single psychiatrist ever in the history of the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (OWCP).  From 2013 to 2021, Dr. Harry Doyle and his wife and sole employee, Sonya, allegedly billed OWCP for services that weren’t rendered, submitted double-billed and upcoded patient claims, and falsified patient records to reflect their false billing.  As part of the settlement, they will be excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs for 25 years.  USAO EDPA

March 7, 2022

Redwood Toxicology Laboratory has agreed to pay nearly $4.8 million to settle allegations that the California-based urine drug testing service overcharged the Connecticut Medicaid program for certain laboratory services, in violation of Connecticut’s “Most Favored Nation” regulation, which provides that the state should not be charged more than the lowest price charged to third parties.  The settlement covered claims submitted between January 2015 through February 2018.  USAO CT

March 3, 2022

New York-based ophthalmologist Ameet Goyal, M.D., who owned and operated Rye Eye Associates, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and ordered to pay $3.6 million in forfeiture as well as $3.6 million in restitution for submitting $3.6 million in upcoded charges to Medicare, private insurers, and patients between 2010 and 2017.  While facing charges for healthcare fraud in 2020, Goyal also falsely certified that he was not facing any criminal charges in order to obtain over $600,000 in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.  USAO SDNY

February 18, 2022

Muhammad Ateeq, of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $50 million in restitution for forfeiture for submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare for home health services. Ateeq acquired and managed home health agencies in the United States, using false identities. He then used these home health agencies to submit fraudulent Medicare claims totaling over $40 million for services not rendered. The ill-gotten gains were laundered through U.S. bank accounts designated by overseas customers of overseas money transmitting businesses. Cash payments were then transmitted to accounts in Pakistan which Ateeq controlled. Fraud proceeds were also used to purchase luxury items which were delivered to Ateeq’s Dubai associates. DOJ

February 1, 2022

Two North Carolina medical providers will pay nearly $1.5 million combined for submitting false claims to the Medicaid program. Knowles, Smith, & Associates LLP will pay $1,150,000 to resolve allegations spanning five years of failure to monitor their anesthesia billing by not providing services billed, administering medically unnecessary procedures, or failing to maintain sufficient supporting documentation. Stacy Benton Lewis, M.D., and the Center for Women’s Health, P.A. will pay $340,000 to resolve false billing allegations covering a four-year period for submitting claims for complex visits that did not occur. NC DOJ
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