FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECIV
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2000(202) 514-2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
EYE SURGERY CENTER PAYS U.S. AND WEST VIRGINIA
FOR FILING FALSE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE CLAIMS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Anwar Eye Center, Inc., an ambulatory surgical center specializing in cataract removal surgery and lens implants, has agreed to pay $240,000 to the United States and the State of West Virginia to settle allegations that the center submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Defense TRICARE Program, the Department of Justice announced today.
The government alleged that from 1993 to 1996 the Moundsville, West Virginia center allowed an individual who lacked proper certification to administer anesthesia prior to cataract surgery. It was also alleged that employees were directed to falsify records to indicate that a person with proper credentials had performed the procedure.
"This settlement represents our continued efforts to ensure that beneficiaries of federal health benefit programs receive care that complies with federal and state standards," said David W. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.
Today's settlement resolves a civil suit that originally was filed by Margaret Kaufman, a private individual who filed the case in federal district court under the provisions of the False Claims Act's qui tam or whistleblower provisions. Ms. Kaufman will receive a share of the settlement.
In addition to the monetary settlement, Anwar Eye Center entered into a three-year corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, to settle administrative claims. The settlement concludes an investigation undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Clarksville, West Virginia field office, the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service's Pittsburgh Resident Agency Office, the State of West Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.