Leader and Members of Moscow-Based Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Conspiracy Charged in International Telemedicine Scheme
United States Attorney Robert L. Capers and Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), New York Region, today announced that the United States has entered into a civil settlement agreement with Deremedx Dermatology, P.C. d/b/a Dermatique and Dr. Barry A. Solomon to resolve a case brought under the federal False Claims Act. Solomon is the owner of, and sole practitioner at, Dermatique. The agreement resolves an investigation involving allegations that, in contravention of Medicare and Medicaid regulations, Solomon engaged in a host of fraudulent billing practices and submitted false claims to government healthcare programs.
Under the terms of the civil settlement agreement, Solomon and Dermatique will pay a total of $302,227.11. Solomon will also enter into an Integrity Agreement to provide compliance oversight for the next three years. The civil settlement agreement was approved by United States District Court Judge Leonard D. Wexler.
The government’s investigation revealed that between approximately June 2009 through at least 2014, Solomon repeatedly billed for services performed as if he were supervising the procedures even though he was not in the office during the procedures and was, at least in some cases, out of the country. Solomon also billed for so-called “impossible days,” in which he submitted claims for more hours than he could have possibly worked. In one of those instances, Solomon billed Medicare for more than 26 hours in one calendar day. Finally, the investigation revealed that Solomon occasionally double billed Medicare for certain examinations and procedures.
The investigation commenced with the filing of a qui tam complaint by Relator Diane Vitale. Under the federal False Claims Act statute, a private individual who has uncovered fraud against the government may file a suit in federal court on behalf of the United States. If the United States is successful in resolving those claims, the individual who filed the complaint may receive a share of the recovery.
“Health care providers who engage in fraudulent billing practices, including billing for services and procedures they did not perform, jeopardize critical government healthcare programs. The message today is clear – if you engage in such conduct you will be held to account,” stated U.S. Attorney Capers.
“Solomon’s fraudulent billing practices compromised the integrity of taxpayer-funded health programs, and won’t be tolerated” said Lampert, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “HHS-OIG is committed to holding healthcare providers accountable for the services they provide to our most vulnerable citizens.”
The United States’ case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth M. Abell.
BARRY A. SOLOMON
Residence: Long Beach, New York