Articles Tagged with attorney for health care fraud

jonathan-perez-409943-copy-300x200Kmart Corporation, a subsidiary of Sears Holding Corporation, will pay the federal government $32.3 million to settle allegations of violations of the False Claims Act. A whistleblower alleged that Kmart stores did not report discounted prescription drug prices to Medicare Part D, Medicaid, and TRICARE, thereby receiving larger reimbursements than it was entitled to.

Kmart Wrongdoing Exposed by Whistleblower

In 2008, pharmacist James Garbe filed a qui tam suit under the FCA against Kmart. He alleged that Kmart pharmacies offered discounted generic drug prices to customers who paid cash through various programs, yet knowingly failed to disclose those prices to federal health programs. Instead, between 2004 and 2016, it reported to Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE its customary prices for drugs, which were then used to establish reimbursement rates. The incorrect claims lead to Kmart receiving higher reimbursements than the business was entitled to.

josh-appel-423804-copy-300x225The operator and two employees of a former medical supply company in Hawthorne and Ventura, California have been arrested by special agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for health care fraud. The allegations state that the three individuals fraudulently charged Medicare for more than $24 million in unnecessary power wheelchairs and repairs.

The Defendants

The three individuals arrested for this healthcare fraud scheme were:

hush-naidoo-382152-copy-300x200In mid-December, a federal jury found Ronald Grusd and two corporations, California Imaging Network Medical Group and Willows Consulting Company, guilty of fraud and bribery related to a health care fraud scheme involving California’s Workers’ Compensation program. More specifically, the jury was found guilty of Conspiracy, Honest Services Mail and Wire Fraud, Health Care Fraud, and violations of the Travel Act. Grusd, the companies, and his administrator, Gonzalo Paredes, were indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2015. Grusd will return for sentencing in March 2018. Paredes is to return to court for a hearing regarding a retrial in January 2018.

Grusd’s Health Care Scheme

Grusd and his two companies paid kickbacks to multiple clinics in San Diego County and Imperial County for patient referrals. The purpose of these illegally obtained patient referrals was to fraudulently bill insurers more than $25 million in medical services.

piron-guillaume-96228-copy-300x200On November 28, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a $1.2 million settlement with Cardiovascular Consultants Heart Center, known as CVC Heart Center, and its shareholder physicians. CVC Health Center is a cardiology clinic with offices in Fresno and Clovis, California.

The CVC Heart Center along with Dr. Kevin Boran, Dr. Michael Gen, Dr. Rohit Sundrani, Dr. Donald Gregory, and Dr. William Hanks resolved state and federal False Claims Act (FCA) allegations based on their allegedly performing medically unnecessary tests and billing state and federal health care programs for them.

If you are aware of any medical false billing to a California or federal health care program like Medicare or Medi-Cal, contact the San Francisco health care fraud lawyers of Brod Law Firm right away. You may have information that would be important to the authorities. You may also have standing to bring a qui tam suit on behalf of a state and/or federal government.

alex-boyd-260321-copy-300x200Sentencing for four California residents who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health fraud was recently handed down. Geoffrey Ricketts, 49, Marla Ricketts, 38, Samuel Kim, 41, and Sunyup Kim, 40, all pleaded guilty in late 2016 and early 2017 after being indicted in June 2015.

Glucose Meter Fraud Scheme

These individuals created a fraudulent scheme regarding the sale of “talking glucose meters,” which were not medically needed or requested by consumers. They did so through the operation of Care Concepts, LLC and Choice Home Medical Equipment and Supplies (“Care Concepts”). The main corporate business was based out of Louisiana, while Care Concepts had its principal place of business in Chatsworth, California.

daan-stevens-282446-copy-300x191Michael Mirando, 40, previously a resident of Aliso Viejo, CA, was found guilty in May of 2017 on 15 counts of health care fraud. It took a federal jury less than half an hour to reach a verdict following the trial. At the end of October, Mirando was sentenced to eight years in prison and $3 million in restitution. Mirando’s current home in Portland is also being forfeited to the authorities since he admitted it was purchased by the financial proceeds of the fraud.

Medical Facility Owner Submits False Bills

Mirando owned Holter Labs, which offered patients cardiac monitoring services using what was called a Holter monitor. It is an ambulatory electrocardiography device, also known as an EKG device that can be used while a patient walks and performs normal activities. Holter Labs would provide these devices to physicians who then prescribed the devices to patients in order to monitor their heart rates for 24 to 48 hours. Mirando would bill the patients’ insurance companies for the day or two of use of the device. However, at the same time, he would tack on additional services that were not ordered or provided, like 30-day EKG tests, brain scans, and oxygen studies.

how-soon-ngu-34-copy-199x300The Department of Justice (DOJ) for the Eastern District of California announced in October that two individuals pleaded guilty to health care fraud charges. These announcements continue to prove that the DOJ is focused on prosecuting all forms of health care fraud throughout the state and federal levels.

If you have information regarding health care fraud, contact an experienced San Francisco health care fraud lawyer at Brod Law Firm to learn about your rights and options. You may be in the position to file a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of California or the federal government. Call us today at (800) 427-7020.

Fresno Podiatrist Pleads Guilty

hush-naidoo-382152-copy-300x200The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announced new suspensions twice in October. It suspended eight medical providers from participating in the state’s workers’ compensation system in early October and then three more shortly after. The total suspensions for 2017 are now up to 49.

These suspensions are part of the DWC’s new policy passed into law in 2016 by Assembly Bill 1244. The new law, which went into effect on January 1, requires the DWC to suspend any medical provider that is convicted of any offense involving abuse or fraud of the federal Medicare program, the state Medi-Cal program, any workers’ compensation system, or a patient. Medical providers can also be suspended for other types of misconduct that led to their license being revoked or surrendered.

The Suspended Medical Providers  

samuel-zeller-360588-copy-200x300In early October, a California federal judge dismissed without prejudice a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UHG). The suit, U.S. ex rel. Swoben v. Secure Horizons, et al., alleged UHG ignored questionable diagnoses that led to higher reimbursements through the Medicare Advantage program. This is significant news for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The UHG case was the first FCA suit related to the Medicare Advantage program that the DOJ joined. This was essentially a test case to determine the strength of the DOJ’s position and the ability to bring similar cases in the future. Unfortunately, this dismissal signals there were numerous weaknesses in the DOJ’s FCA case.

The Basis for the FCA Claim

This qui tam suit was brought by a whistleblower who alleged UHG knowingly ignored questionable patient charts reviewed by another company, Healthcare Partners LLC. These charts, whether or not they had appropriate evidence, contained diagnoses that would increase the insurer’s risk adjusted payments under the Medicare Advantage program. Under Medicare Advantage, healthcare providers receive higher reimbursements for caring for sicker patients.

andres-de-armas-103880-copy-300x200On Sept. 22, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that drug manufacturer, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Novelion Therapeutics Inc., has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay a multi-million settlement of to resolve allegations of civil false claims.

The Criminal Charges

The criminal charges against Aegerion state that the manufacturer introduced the prescription drug, Juxtapid, into interstate commerce when it was misbranded under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Juxtapid was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients suffering from a rare disorder, homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH). This condition prevents the body from removing LDL-C, the “bad” cholesterol, from the blood and causes high levels of LDL-C in the body. The drug carried a black box warning for potential liver toxicity and gastrointestinal side effects.