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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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March 26, 2019

The owner and managing member of a Mississippi-based pharmacy has plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax evasion in connection with a massive $200 million compounding pharmacy scheme involving at least 12 individuals over four years. Glenn Doyle Beach, Jr. of Advantage Pharmacy admitted to marketing and formulating compounded medications for TRICARE patients without regard to medical necessity, falsifying paperwork to mislead auditors, and engaging in money laundering and tax evasion to conceal proceeds. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July. DOJ; USAO SDMS

February 27, 2019

The owner and operator of a drug marketing company has pleaded guilty for his role in a $200 million scheme to defraud TRICARE in one of the largest healthcare fraud cases said to come out of Mississippi. Between 2012 and 2016, Howard Randall Thomley of Advantage Marketing Professionals allegedly recruited TRICARE beneficiaries to accept millions of dollars of medically unnecessary compounded medications by paying them a percentage of prescription revenues. The prescriptions forms — signed by medical professionals who never saw the recruited beneficiaries — were then filled by a compounding pharmacy, Advantage Pharmacy, who paid Thomley a portion of the reimbursements. For his role in the scheme, Thomley now faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison at his sentencing in July. USAO SDMS

February 25, 2019

PhysioHealth Inc. and its wholly owned company, Dynamic Therapy Services, LLC, have agreed to pay $2 million following a self-disclosure that Dynamic had improperly billed TRICARE for services performed at clinics in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, between 2011 and 2017. The reported misconduct involved billing for services performed by unauthorized physical therapy assistants, using the supervising physical therapist's authorized provider number, which was in violation of TRICARE rules at the time. USAO EDPA

February 22, 2019

Marketers, doctors, lawyers, and medical service provider defendants were sentenced this week for their roles in a multi-million dollar California worker's compensation fraud scheme in the San Diego area.  The defendants recruited patients and referred them to co-defendant attorneys to file fraudulent claims on their behalf and medical providers who performed often unnecessary and painful medical procedures for which they would then bill insurers including California Workers' Compensation.  Ronald Grusd, a doctor who owned a diagnostic imaging company, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $1.3 million.  Fermin Iglesias, who worked as a patient capper, was sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $1 million. Julian Garcia, who provided services to assist the referrals and kickbacks, was sentenced to three years in prison.  Jennifer Louise White, who marketed to providers in the network, was sentenced to two years in prison.  Sean O'Keefe, an attorney who filed fraudulent claims on behalf of patients, was sentenced to 13 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $300,000.  Steven Rigler, a chiropractor, was sentenced to six months in prison.  USAO SD Cal.

Ohio Seeks to Recover Overcharges from OptumRx

Posted  02/21/19
Office building with logo for Optum
After a 2018 investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) of its prescription drug spending, the BWC pharmacy program manager, John Hanna, concluded that "we were being hosed."  The BWC had contracted with OptumRx to act as a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM).  PBMs act as middlemen between drugmakers, pharmacies, and payors such as worker's compensation programs, Medicaid, Medicare, and other...

February 20, 2019

Hope Thomley of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, pleaded guilty for her role in a compounding pharmacy kickback scheme.  Thomley was the owner and operator of acompany that marketed for Advantage Pharmacy in Hattiesburg, and received 50% of Advantage's reimbursements.  Thomley admitted that she knew Advantage submitted false claims for payment to federal healthcare programs for medications that had not been prescribed by a doctor or were not medically necessary.  Between 2012 and 2016, health care benefit programs, including TRICARE, reimbursed Advantage Pharmacy and other pharmacies involved in the scheme at least $200 million. DOJ

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
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