Doctor Sentenced For Health Care Fraud
PHILADELPHIA – Dr. Joseph J. Kubacki, 63, of Destin, Florida, was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for a health care fraud scheme in which he submitted fraudulent claims and caused more than $1.8 million in payments to be paid by Medicare and 31 other health insurers. A federal jury convicted Kubacki of 150 counts of health care fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements in health care matters. The verdict was announced on August 22, 2011.
Kubacki was the Chairperson of the Ophthalmology Department of the Temple University School of Medicine and also served as the Assistant Dean for Medical Affairs. Between 1996 and 2007, he caused thousands of false claims to be submitted to health care benefit programs with false charges totaling more than $4.5 million for services rendered to patients whom Kubacki did not personally see or evaluate. At Kubacki’s direction, Ophthalmology Department staff employees would stack patient charts outside Kubacki’s office door at the main campus of Temple University Hospital. The patients had been seen by other physicians in the office but Kubacki falsified the charts by making notations indicating that he had personally seen and evaluated the patients. In fact, Kubacki was outside of Pennsylvania in other locations on some of the days that he claimed to have treated patients, including Las Vegas, Nevada, Sarasota, Florida and Indian Wells, California. Kubacki signed the patient charts and filled out fee slips for the services that he falsely claimed to have provided. As a result, health care benefit programs, including Medicare and private health insurers, made payments on fraudulent claims in excess of $1.8 million. Kubacki also made false statements in the medical records of patients attesting that he had personally seen the patients, when, as Kubacki knew, he had created these false records solely for the purpose of submitting fraudulent billings to health care benefit programs.
“Health care fraud costs the public billions of dollars a year. But when an accomplished member of the medical profession perpetrates this type of fraud, the costs cannot be measured in dollars alone,” said Memeger. “Fraud erodes public trust and today's sentence should send a message that regardless of your stature in society, the government will seek significant prison time for violating that trust.”
“Dr. Joseph Kubacki was ultimately responsible for more than $4.5 million in false claims to Medicare and other healthcare programs,” said Nick DiGiulio, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in Philadelphia. “Today's sentencing demonstrates that we will work aggressively with our partners at the Department of Justice to prosecute and punish criminals like Kubacki.”
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo C. Robreno ordered Kubacki to pay restitution to Temple University in the amount of $1,014,605.87 and restitution to patients who paid co-pays in the (total) amount of $5,445 and a fine in the amount of $15,000. Judge Robreno also ordered three years supervised release.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant
United States Attorneys Anthony Kyriakakis and Matthew Hogan.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525