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Press Release

United States Brings Federal False Claims Act Suit Against Pain Management Practice and Its Principal

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

WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss announced today that the United States has filed a civil complaint against the Center for Interventional Pain and Spine, LLC (“CIPS”) and its principal, Dr. Chee H. Woo, in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.  The United States alleges that CIPS and Dr. Woo violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to federal and state healthcare programs for thousands of diagnostic tests and services that were not ordered by healthcare providers, not medically necessary, and sometimes never performed.

CIPS is a pain management practice with multiple locations in Delaware and Pennsylvania.  The complaint alleges that, from at least July 2018 through at least 2021, CIPS and Dr. Woo devised a scheme to bill Medicare, Medicaid, and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (“FEHB”) for medically unnecessary urine drug tests.  The complaint further alleges that, between 2019 and 2021, CIPS and Dr. Woo caused Medicare, Medicaid, and FEHB to pay thousands of claims for psychological and neuropsychological testing that was not performed or was not medically necessary. 

As a condition of reimbursement, Medicare, Medicaid, and FEHB each require participating providers to certify that all services rendered are necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of patients.  As alleged in the complaint, CIPS and Dr. Woo developed and implemented a urine drug testing protocol that required all CIPS’ patients to submit to urine drug tests every three months, regardless of whether the testing was supported by individual patient or clinical need.  The complaint alleges that CIPS’ health care providers did not order the urine drug tests and, in many cases, were not aware that the tests had been ordered, and that the results of the tests were not used to inform the diagnosis or treatment of CIPS’ patients.  As a result, these tests were medically unnecessary, and CIPS’ certifications that it complied with Medicare, Medicaid, and FEHB requirements were false.   

The complaint further alleges that CIPS submitted thousands of false claims for psychological and neuropsychological tests that were not performed.  Instead, as alleged, CIPS asked patients to self-complete health screening questionnaires that were ineligible for reimbursement as psychological and neuropsychological tests.  CIPS then allegedly failed to use the results of these questionnaires to treat patients, even when the results indicated that medical interventions were warranted. 

“Providers and entities that participate in federal health care programs must comply with the rules intended to protect the integrity of those public programs,” U.S. Attorney Weiss said.  “Billing federal health care programs for services that are not medically necessary and that are not actually provided undermines the quality of patient care and increases the costs of these taxpayer funded programs. We are committed to holding accountable those medical providers who seek to exploit these programs for their own benefit.  Today’s civil complaint demonstrates that this office will aggressively work to recover public money from those who fraudulently seek to overcharge the federal government.”

The allegations in the complaint were identified during a government investigation that arose from a proactive analysis of Medicare claims data. 

The investigation and litigation are being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Shamoor Anis and Jacob Laksin.

The complaint contains allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware.  Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 24-cv-711-JLH.

Updated June 20, 2024

False Claims Act