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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Kansas Cardiologist to Pay U.S. $1.3 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

WASHINGTON – Joseph P. Galichia, M.D. and Galichia Medical Group P.A., a Kansas cardiologist and his practice group, have agreed to pay the United States $1.3 million to settle claims that the physician and his group violated the False Claims Act between 2001 and 2006, by submitting false claims to Medicare, the Justice Department announced today. The government contends that claims were submitted for services not provided, and in other instances, claims were submitted without proper documentation.

In May 2000, Galichia and Galichia Medical Group agreed to pay more than $1.5 million to settle a previous False Claims Act matter. In that case, the government contended that between 1993 and 1998, Galichia billed Medicare for a higher level of services than provided (up-coding), billed twice for the same services, and billed for services not provided.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that Medicare funds are paid out appropriately for services actually provided to beneficiaries," said Michael F. Hertz, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Civil Division.

As part of the $1.3 million settlement, Galichia and Galichia Medical Group have entered into an Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The Integrity Agreement contains measures to ensure compliance with Medicare regulations and policies in the future.

"Exposing Medicare fraud is a top government priority," said Lewis Morris, Chief Counsel to the Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services. "We will aggressively pursue both individuals and companies seeking to enrich themselves by cheating U.S. taxpayers and the nation’s health care system."

The settlement here was the result of a coordinated effort among the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas; and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General and Office of Counsel to the Inspector General.

Marietta Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, commended the following investigators for their work on the case: Dan Coney of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, Troy Bird of the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General and David Nitz of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

09-184
Civil Division
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