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Press Release

Local Physician and Practice Agree to Pay Over $2 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

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

DETROIT – James Aronovitz, D.O., and Michigan Ear Care PLLC have agreed to pay over $2 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by charging the Medicare and Medicaid programs for services purportedly provided by Aronovitz, but actually rendered by physician assistants who Aronovitz did not properly supervise, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced today.

Ison was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Mario Pinto, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).  

Under the settlement, Aronovitz and Michigan Ear Care will pay $2,003,800.91 to resolve allegations that Aronovitz submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid under his National Provider Identifier for ear care services provided by physician assistants in nursing facilities and home health settings, without Aronovitz providing the required supervision of the physician assistants.  The State of Michigan will receive $65,993.20 of the settlement amount based on its share of alleged damages to the Medicaid program.

“Physicians are expected to submit accurate billing when charging the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” said U.S. Attorney Ison.  “This investigation and settlement demonstrate that our office continues to deploy the resources necessary to combat Medicare and Medicaid fraud in this district.” 

“Ensuring providers adhere to supervision requirements and regulatory standards is crucial for safeguarding the integrity of federal health care programs and the well-being of patients," said Mario M. Pinto, Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. "HHS-OIG remains committed to promoting compliance and the prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse in HHS programs."

The civil investigation was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonny Zajac of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, with assistance from HHS-OIG.  The investigation originated as a U.S. Department of Justice Health Care Fraud Strike Force investigation.

The investigation and resolution of this matter illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud.  One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act.  Tips and complaints from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement can be reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination or admission of liability.

Updated May 8, 2024

False Claims Act