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Other Government Health Programs

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to government healthcare programs other than Medicare and Medicaid, and fraud in those programs. You may also be interested in our pages:

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February 8, 2019

Two executives from the South Carolina Early Autism Project (SCEAP) have been convicted of causing false statements to be submitted to Medicare and TRICARE and causing them to be overcharged by millions of dollars. According to statements by SCEAP employees, co-founder Ann Davis Eldridge and executive Angela Breitweiser Keith instructed employees to include travel and wait time in their billing in order to inflate time spent providing services. To further incentivize this practice, they implemented billing goals that had to be met in order to qualify for bonuses such as gift cards and vacations, all paid for by the company. Since then SCEAP has repaid almost $9 million, and as part of their plea agreement, both Keith and Eldridge will serve 1-year sentences. USAO SC

February 8, 2019

A Texas-based marketing company, One Source Healthcare Organization, and its owner, James Paul Adams, have agreed to pay $339,412.50 to resolve allegations that it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute in accepting illegal payments from a compounding pharmacy to market their drug. Because the payments resulted in false claims being paid by Medicare and TRICARE, they were also alleged to be in violation of the federal False Claims Act. Two men affiliated with the compounding pharmacy, Oklahoma-based OK Compounding, LLC, were previously indicted on similar charges. USAO NDOK

February 7, 2019

A former bus driver with the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for defrauding the authority's health benefit plan of $2.8 million. Enver Kalaba, who was recruited into the scheme by former bus driver Christopher Frusci, worked on behalf of an unnamed company to pay bribes to fellow MTA employees in exchange for medically unnecessary prescription compounded medications. For each prescription for medications such as pain creams, scar creams, and metabolic supplements, Kalaba and Frusci paid $100. As part of his sentence, Kalaba must now forfeit $138,630 in fraudulent earnings and pay $2.9 million in restitution. Frusci is scheduled to be sentenced next month. USAO NJ

February 6, 2019

Abbott Labs has agreed to pay a total of $25 million to settle allegations of paying kickbacks to healthcare professionals in exchange for promotion of its drug, and inappropriately marketing its drug, TriCor, for cardiovascular events not approved by the FDA. The case was initiated by the State of North Carolina and joined by California, Illinois, Nevada, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas, as well as the federal government. NC AG

January 29, 2019

Tennessee-based home dialysis provider WellBound of Memphis agreed to pay $3,246,000 to the State of Tennessee and the United States for allegedly submitting false claims to Medicare, TRICARE, and Tenncare from 2016 to 2018. According to a qui tam complaint filed by whistleblower Dr. Darryl Quarles, the claims resulted from illegal inducements for patient referrals, which violated the anti-kickback statute (AKS) and are not payable under state or federal laws. USAO WDTN

January 28, 2019

Ademola O. Adebayo, of Odessa, FL, was convicted for his role in a massive compounding pharmacy fraud scheme through which he submitted false and fraudulent claims for compounded drugs and other prescription medications that were not medically necessary, never provided, or both. The evidence established that in his role as the pharmacist at A to Z Pharmacy, now-defunct, Adebayo conspired to submit or cause the submission of claims that often amounted to several thousands of dollars for a single tube of pain or scar cream. When the fraud was uncovered, Adebayo became the straw owner of Havana Pharmacy & Discount in Miami, where Adebayo and his co-conspirators continued the fraud. Adebayo personally benefited from the fraud and received $1.5 million. DOJ

Catch of the Week — PA Hospital and Health System Pays $12.5 Million to Settle FCA Allegations

Posted  12/14/18
Coordinated Health Holding Company, LLC, a for-profit hospital and health system, and its founder, owner, and CEO, Emil DiIorio, M.D., have agreed to pay a combined $12.5 million to settle allegations of violating the False Claims Act for submitting false claims to Medicare and other federal health care programs for orthopedic surgeries. Coordinated Health is a for-profit hospital and health system based in the Lehigh...

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 11, 2018

Coordinated Health Holding Company, LLC, a for-profit hospital and health system, and its founder, owner, and CEO, Emil DiIorio, M.D., have agreed to pay a combined $12.5 million to settle allegations of violating the False Claims Act in claims submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, and federal employee health insurers. From 2007 until 2014, under DiIorio's direction, Coordinated Health allegedly exploited a billing code called Modifier 59 in order to separately bill for orthopedic surgery charges that, properly billed, instead fall under a single "global" payment for each surgery. Even after outside consultants warned company executives about the improper practice in 2011 and 2013 and provided on-site training on the proper use of Modifier 59, Coordinated Health continued making false claims, causing federal healthcare payers to overpay by millions of dollars. As part of the settlement, the company has signed a Corporate Integrity Agreement for additional government oversight into its billing practices over the next five years. USAO EDPA

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
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