News and Press Releases

Cheyenne Vision Clinic, P.C. Settles Claims Brought Under the False Claims Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2011
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney
605-357-2360

United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota, Brendan V. Johnson, and Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg jointly announced today that Cheyenne Vision Clinic, P.C. of Cheyenne paid $235,000 to settle allegations that it improperly billed federal and state agencies for extended color vision exams for which it did not have the required equipment to perform. The South Dakota United States Attorney’s Office represented the United States due to a conflict in the Wyoming United States Attorney’s Office.

The claim was brought under the federal False Claims Act and alleged that between January 1, 2003, and May 6, 2009, Cheyenne Vision billed the federal government and the State of Wyoming Medicaid for an extended color vision examination that requires the use of an device known as a anomaloscope or equivalent device for the exam. An anomaloscope measures quantitative and qualitative anomalies in color perception and goes well beyond a simple screening test and diagnosis of color blindness. For the time period stated above, Cheyenne Vision did not possess an anomaloscope or an equivalent device.
According to the Settlement Agreement, Cheyenne Vision denies the allegations made by the United States and Wyoming, but settled the case without admitting liability to avoid the delay, uncertainty, inconvenience, and expense of protracted litigation. Cheyenne Vision cooperated with the investigation in this matter.

United States Attorney Johnson said: “Today’s settlement demonstrates my office’s determination to ensure that the precious federal health care fund is not wasted as a result of fraud. I also want to thank the Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg and his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for their joint investigation of this matter.”

Johnson and Salzburg extend their gratitude to the Department of Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Services, and the Wyoming Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for their investigation of this case.

Les Hollie, Special Agent in Charge of the Kansas City Regional Office Of Investigations for the Department of Health and Human Services, stated that “these joint investigations and their outcomes protect the beneficiaries, tax payers and trust fund from fraud, waste and abuse. We appreciate the prosecutorial efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office and the investigative efforts of State of Wyoming Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Department of Defense, Criminal Investigative Service.”
The state of Wyoming was represented by the director of its Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Christine Cox. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Gusinsky.

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