New Jersey doctor Robert Claude McGrath and his chiropractor son Robert Christopher McGrath were sentenced to prison for conspiring to defraud Medicare by using unqualified people to give physical therapy to Medicare recipients. The pair, sentenced to 30 and 12 months respectively, previously pleaded guilty to the charges. They also were ordered to pay restitution of $890,000. See DOJ Press Release.
The McGraths owned and operated Atlantic Spine & Joint Institute, a medical practice with offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Under Medicare rules, physical therapy had to be provided by Robert senior or a trained physical therapist under his medical supervision. However, the McGraths ignored these rules and employed unlicensed, untrained individuals to provide physical therapy to Medicare patients, sometimes when Robert senior was not even in the office. They then submitted bills to Medicare fraudulently identifying Robert senior as the provider of physical therapy.
In addition to this criminal resolution, the McGraths along with Atlantic Spine previously agreed to pay roughly $1.8 million to settle civil claims of violating the False Claims Act through their fraudulent submission of physical therapy bills to Medicare. In addition to the DOJ, other federal agencies involved in this matter included the FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations.
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