Frank A. Rubino , ESQ.

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$750,000 paid by Sarasota doctor to settle lawsuit

Cases involving financial malfeasance in medical practices occur often in Florida. Typically, the cases involve illegal means of securing federal benefits that are meant to cover those with health problems. That is reportedly what happened with a recent Medicare fraud case.

It has just been settled, with the doctor at the center of it agreeing to pay a staggering $750,000. That payment resolves the federal whistleblower lawsuit that was based on accusations against him. The accusations originally came from two nurses who had worked for him.

Specifically, the allegations against the doctor claimed that he charged Medicare for a number of high-level office visits. During these visits, said to be with patients who had complex medical problems, he asserted that he was performing comprehensive examinations. However, according to the allegations, many of the examinations that Medicare was billed for never actually happened.

When the doctor submitted billing, he used the names of real patients with which his clinic worked. However, he reportedly added nonexistent examinations to the costs of actual scheduled procedures. Because of this, the two nurses who worked for him filed the whistleblower lawsuit.

Along with the $750,000 payment, the doctor is required to be in a three-year Integrity Agreement. That agreement is with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It requires him to complete training courses and have an external review of all billing, claims, and coding submitted to federal health care programs.

This particular case resulted in a huge settlement payment, along with other requirements. Other Medicare fraud cases in Florida will involve different amounts. Anyone accused in such cases can benefit tremendously from wise legal advice.

Source: Herald Tribine, "Sarasota doctor pays $750,000 to settle lawsuit" No author given, Feb. 25, 2014

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