FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECIV
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2000(202) 514-2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
MICHIGAN PHYSICIAN TO PAY U.S. $2 MILLION FOR
OVERCHARGING MEDICARE & MEDICAID HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Michigan osteopathic physician will pay the United States $2 million to settle allegations that he and a corporation he controlled overcharged the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Justice Department announced today. The settlement resolves various allegations under the False Claims Act against Dr. Donald S. Dreyfuss in connection with services provided from 1992 to 1996 to nursing home and hospice patients in the Detroit area.
The settlement was announced by Assistant Attorney General David Ogden of the Justice Department's Civil Division and Saul A. Green, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. The United States alleged that Dr. Dreyfuss knowingly billed Medicare and Medicaid for providing physician services to nursing home patients when, in fact, he never actually provided such services, the services were not medically necessary or the complexity of the services was exaggerated. The government also alleged that, in connection with a hospice, Dr. Dreyfuss knowingly certified that patients were eligible for Medicare or Medicaid services when, in fact, they were not.
"Today's settlement is an example of the Department's determination to ensure that the United States is compensated for all False Claims Act violations by medical providers involving overpayment Medicare and Medicaid," said Ogden. "The federal health care system operates on the good faith and honesty of its providers, and we cannot tolerate misuse of the reimbursement system for financial gain."
Previously, Dreyfuss pled guilty in a criminal proceeding to three counts of mail fraud and one count of receiving an illegal kickback in connection with some of the same matters covered in today's settlement. As a result of his plea agreement, Dreyfuss paid $200,000 in fines plus $533,000 in restitution to Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan and was sentenced to five years probation, including two years of home confinement. He also agreed to sell any interest that he has in nursing homes.
Today's settlement amount is in addition to fines and restitution paid in connection with the criminal prosecution.
"Using civil litigation to combat health care fraud is among one of our highest priorities," said Saul Green, United States Attorney in Detroit. "By working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General, as was done in this case, the U.S. Attorney's office strives both to deter wrongdoing and win back the fraudulent financial gain so that Medicare and Medicaid funds are expended for truly legitimate services."
The case was investigated by the Detroit offices of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Justice Department's Civil Division and the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan negotiated the settlement.
For Additional Information contact: Gina Vitrano at U.S. Attorney's Office at: