Skip to main content
Press Release

Norwich Podiatrist Pays $35,000 to Settle Allegations under the False Claims Act

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that EDWARD TARKA, a podiatrist with a practice in Norwich, has entered into a civil settlement with the government in which he will pay $35,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act.

The allegations against TARKA involve fraudulent billing to Medicare for avulsion services, a surgical procedure to treat ingrown toenails.  The procedure involves the surgical separation and removal of all or part of a toenail from the tip of the nail back to the base of the nail.  The government alleges that TARKA submitted claims to Medicare for avulsion services under CTP Code 11730 that were not performed in accordance with Medicare requirements.  Specifically, the government alleges that TARKA “upcoded” ingrown toenail services, submitting claims to Medicare for avulsion services when in fact he had provided only “routine foot care” services to his Medicare patients.

Routine foot care is typically not a payable service under relevant Medicare regulations, except in limited circumstances for patients with certain systemic conditions or other significant medical issues.

To resolve his liability under the False Claims Act, TARKA will pay $35,000, in order to reimburse the Medicare program for conduct occurring between August 2008 and August 2012.

Under the False Claims Act, the government can recover up to three times its actual damages, plus penalties of $10,957 to $21,916 for each false claim.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne F. Thidemann with the assistance of Auditor Kevin A. Saunders.

U.S. Attorney Daly encourages individuals who suspect health care fraud to report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 777-6311 or. 1-800-HHS-TIPS.

Updated August 13, 2021

False Claims Act
Health Care Fraud