Podiatrist Sentenced for Medicare Fraud
A podiatrist who practiced in Elizabethtown and Harrisburg, in Central Pennsylvania, has been convicted on one count of Medicare fraud.
According to prosecutors, Dr. Michael C. Karason also had offices in California, and billed health insurers for services that were supposedly provided at the same time in Pennsylvania and California. However, services to those patients were not provided at all.
Additionally, some services were provided by an unlicensed office manager, who could not legally perform those services.
On October 22nd, Karason pled guilty to one count of health care fraud. He was sentenced on February 28th.
Karason was ordered to pay $118,072.29 in restitutions to Medicare, Capital BlueCross, and Highmark Insurance. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison, with three years’ supervised release.
It Is Important to Report Medicare Fraud
Medicare and Medicaid are government-sponsored health care programs that help the needy and the elderly cover health care costs associated with aging and disability. These programs are hugely important for people living on a fixed income, so it is incumbent upon doctors to honestly report costs both to patients and to the government.
Unfortunately, not all health care providers are honest in their assessments. Some health care providers defraud the government, in violation of the False Claims Act, by overbilling for services, double billing, or billing for services not provided. The False Claims Act imposes liability on persons or corporations that defraud the government – and this includes doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes.
The False Claims Act provides protection for those who report agencies or individuals who are defrauding the government. These lawsuits are called whistleblower, or qui tam, lawsuits.
Under the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act, the relator (plaintiff) files an action on behalf of the U.S. Government. The Act allows a wide variety of people and entities to file a qui tam action.
The whistleblower must have first-hand knowledge of the fraud. However, as an incentive for reporting the fraud, whistleblowers are eligible for 15-25% of any recovered damages.
The Strom Law Firm Protects Medicare Fraud Whistleblowers in South Carolina
Common whistleblower actions include:
- Medicare fraud,
- defense contractor fraud, and
- other kinds of fraud.
Qui tam lawsuits have been, and continue to be, a very effective and successful tool in combating government procurement and program fraud.
Bolstered by amendments passed by Congress in 1986, the law has armed private citizens who have independent and direct knowledge of fraud, with a weapon to prosecute government contractors and others who are defrauding the Government.
If you have first-hand knowledge of government fraud occurring at your place of employment or your doctor’s office, including Medicare fraud, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help protect your rights. In order to help the government provide the best possible services, Medicaid and Medicare fraud must be reported as soon as possible. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the complexity of qui tam and whistleblower suits, and we offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today.803.252.4800