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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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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

June 28, 2021

Surgical Care Affiliates, LLC and Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, LP have agreed to pay $3.4 million to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that they billed Medicare and TRICARE for medically unnecessary kidney stone procedures.  The centers also engaged in an illegal kickback arrangement whereby urologist Dr. Patrick Hunter performed lithotripsy procedures in exchange for per-procedure payments from the Orlando Center.  For bringing a successful action, whistleblower Scott Thompson will receive a relator’s share of $748,000 from the settlement with SCA and the Orlando Center.  USAO MDFL

June 23, 2021

El Paso Ear, Nose & Throat Associates (EPENT) has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle allegations of defrauding Medicaid, Medicare, and TRICARE.  In violation of the False Claims Act, EPENT allegedly billed the programs at a higher rate of reimbursement than what they were actually entitled to by upcoding evaluation and management codes.  USAO WDTX

June 11, 2021

Two integrative chiropractic practices in Pennsylvania and their chiropractor owners have agreed to pay over $800,000 to resolve liability under the False Claims Act in connection with an electro-acupuncture device.  The settling parties are Discover Optimal Healthcare, affiliate Weigner Healthcare Management Group, LLC, and owner Jason Weigner (collectively, “Weigner”), and Yucha Medical Pain Management & Chiropractic Rehabilitation, LLC, and owners Randolph Yucha and Rodney Gabel.  Between 2016 and 2017, the parties allegedly billed Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program for the surgical implantation of neuro-stimulators, even though the devices involved—ANSiStim—are not reimbursable and can be applied with adhesives.  USAO EDPA

June 8, 2021

The chiropractor owner and operator of Texas-based Campbell Medical Group PLLC and Johnson Medical Group PLLC d/b/a Campbell Medical Clinic has agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle claims that she and the entities defrauded Medicare and TRICARE.  As part of the settlement, Suhyun An and her medical entities will be excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs for ten years.  Ms. An and the medical entities allegedly improperly obtained over $3.9 million in reimbursement for unbillable implantations of neurostimulator electrodes.  USAO SDTX

May 28, 2021

Erik Santos of Georgia was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison following his guilty plea on healthcare fraud charges.  Santos conspired with Florida compounding pharmacy Patient Care America and others to recruit Tricare beneficiaries to fill prescriptions for expensive, supposedly tailor-made, compounded medications that consisted of little more than common pain or scar creams, but came with price tags as high as $10,000-$15,000 per month.  The beneficiaries did not need the medications, which had little to no therapeutic value, and Santos secured the prescriptions by paying doctors, who had not actually seen the beneficiaries, to approve pre-printed prescriptions for large amounts of these medications.  Santos’s fraudulent referrals caused an actual loss to the Tricare program of approximately $12 million.  PCA pharmacy paid Santos over $7 million in prescription referral kickbacks.  In addition to the prison sentence, the Court imposed restitution in the amount of $11.8 million and entered a forfeiture judgement of approximately $7.6 million.  USAO SD FL

May 4, 2021

Delaware-based pharmaceutical company Incyte Corporation has agreed to pay $12.6 million to resolve allegations of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act in connection with its myelofibrosis drug, Jafaki.  Despite federal laws against illegal remuneration to federal healthcare program beneficiaries, Incyte allegedly wielded its influence as the sole donor of a foundation to coerce the foundation into illegally covering the copays of Medicare and TRICARE patients taking Jafaki.  The misconduct continued from 2011 through 2014 before it was revealed in a qui tam suit by former compliance executive turned whistleblower, Justin Dillon.  Dillon will receive approximately $3.59 million for his efforts.  DOJ; USAO EDPA

April 29, 2021

Over two dozen defendants who were part of an extensive prescription drug fraud scheme involving Alabama-based Northside Pharmacy d/b/a Global Compounding Pharmacy have been sentenced to prison.  The defendants included company executives and managers, prescribers, billers, and sales representatives who, between 2013 and 2016, billed insurers such as Medicare and TRICARE for massive quantities of medically unnecessary prescription drugs.  In just that short period of time, the defendants caused insurers to pay nearly $50 million in medically unnecessary claims, with more than $13 million arising from improper payments to prescribers, and more than $8.4 million for prescriptions written out to Global employees themselves.  USAO NDAL
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