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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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January 12, 2022

Six medical practices affiliated with Interventional Pain Management Center P.C. (IPMC), as well as physician-owner Dr. Amit Poonia, have agreed to pay nearly $7.5 million to resolve allegations of defrauding Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.  In a qui tam suit by Anu Doddapaneni and Christian Reyes, the whistleblowers alleged that Poonia and IPMC violated the False Claims Act by using a billing code that mischaracterized P-Stim and NeuroStim treatments—which transmit electrical pulses through needles placed just under the skin of a patient’s ear—as surgical implantation requiring anesthesia.  USAO EDNY

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

November 9, 2021

Kaléo, Inc., a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Virginia, has agreed to pay $12.7 million to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act in claims submitted to Medicare, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.  Between 2017 and 2020, kaléo allegedly provided kickbacks to physicians and their staff to induce and reward them for prescribing Evzio, a higher-priced version of a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses and which often requires prior authorization.  Kaléo also allegedly directed pharmacies to submit false prior authorizations and dispense Evzio without collecting required co-pays.  USAO MA

November 5, 2021

Two men who pleaded guilty to causing $134 million in false claims to be submitted to Medicare and CHAMPVA have been sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of over $29 millionMichael Nolan of Florida was sentenced to 6.5 years, while Richard Epstein of Colorado was sentenced to about 5 years.  Using a telemarketing company called REMN Management LLC, as well as a telemedicine company called Comprehensive Telcare LLC, Nolan and Epstein had bribed physicians to sign medically unnecessary orders for durable medical equipment, which they then sold to co-conspirators as support for the false claims.  USAO MDFL

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

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

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

Partner Mary Inman Speaks about Research Fraud with Science Whistleblower Dr. Elisabeth Bik at the HCCA’s Research Compliance Conference

Posted  07/23/21
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On June 16, 2021, Constantine Cannon partner Mary Inman spoke at the Health Care Compliance Association’s (HCCA) Research Compliance Conference on the topic of ‘The Vital Role of Whistleblower Scientists in Exposing Fraudulent Research During the Pandemic.’  Mary was joined by co-panelist Dr. Elisabeth Bik, the Founder and Editor of the Science Integrity Digest, a blog about scientific integrity aimed at...

July 19, 2021

Prime Healthcare Services, one of the largest hospital systems in the nation, its founder and CEO Dr. Prem Reddy, and interventional cardiologist Dr. Siva Arunasalam have agreed to pay $37.5 million to resolve two suits filed by former executive Martin Mansukhani, and former employees Marsha Arnold and Joseph Hill.  In violation of the federal and California False Claims Acts, certain Prime hospitals had allegedly submitted inflated invoices to Medi-Cal and other government health programs, or submitted claims to Medi-Cal and Medicare under Arunasalam’s provider number for services provided by an excluded physician.  Additionally, in acquiring Arunasalam’s physician practice and surgery center, Prime allegedly paid above fair market value for referrals from Arunasalam to one of their hospitals.  For being the first to file, one of the whistleblowers, Mansukhani, will receive a relator’s share of nearly $10 million.  CA AG; USAO CDCA
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