GRAND RAPIDS PODIATRIST SENTENCED TO PRISON
IN HEALTH CARE FRAUD SCHEME
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Anthony J. Kirk, D.P.M., 61, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was sentenced to six months in prison, fined $15,000, and ordered to pay $65,110 in restitution for committing health care fraud, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today. Upon release from prison, Dr. Kirk will be placed on home detention for a period of five months, during which time he must remain in his residence except for employment and other activities approved in advance by his probation officer. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff.
Dr. Kirk, a licensed doctor of podiatric medicine, pled guilty in November 2012 to knowingly and willfully executing a scheme to defraud the Medicare program. Dr. Kirk defrauded Medicare by repeatedly submitting false and fraudulent claims for nail avulsion services he did not actually perform on his patients. A nail avulsion is a surgical procedure that involves the separation and removal of the entire nail, or a border of the nail, from the nail bed to the layer of epidermis extending over the base of a nail. Dr. Kirk admitted billing the surgical procedure when in fact he only performed “routine foot care,” a service that generally is not reimbursable by Medicare. Kirk admitted that he received $65,110 in fraudulent payments from the Medicare program over several years. Dr. Kirk has paid the full amount of restitution. The $15,000 fine imposed by the Court will be paid in addition to the restitution amount.
U.S. Attorney Miles stated, “Dr. Kirk abused the trust placed in him by our community and the health care profession. This particular form of health care fraud -- billing for nail avulsions not actually performed -- is a popular scheme authorities do not tolerate. Investigating and prosecuting those who engage in fraudulent billing schemes against government health care programs is a top priority of the U.S. Attorney’s office. We are vigorously pursuing those who knowingly defraud taxpayers by falsely billing Medicare for services they have not performed for payments they are not entitled to receive.”
This case was investigated by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher O’Connor.