Primary Care Physicians to Pay $1.5 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Liability for Submitting Unsupported Diagnoses to the Medicare Advantage Program
PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Domenick Braccia, 58, of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 37 months’ incarceration, one year supervised release, 150 hours of community service, a $15,000 fine and ordered to pay $2,484,864 in restitution by United States District Judge Wendy Beetlestone. The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud in May 2019, arising from his role in a scheme to overbill health care benefit programs for treatment and testing of drug-addicted patients at outpatient facilities owned by Liberation Way.
Domenick Braccia was the so-called “medical director” and the only medical doctor on staff at Liberation Way’s three locations in Yardley, Bala Cynwyd, and Fort Washington. In violation of his oath as a doctor, and as part of a multi-state scheme to defraud insurers, Braccia signed blank prescription forms and patient orders, averred to the medical necessity of testing for patients whom he never saw, and prescribed for patients he did not see.
“We have consistently said that this case should send a message to those attempting to profit from fraud and the despair of individuals battling addiction,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “With this sentence, that message has been delivered in a powerful and concrete way. Dominick Braccia is through practicing medicine and is going to prison. We have been proud to work with the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro and our other federal agency partners to bring all of the defendants in this case to justice.”
“The operators of Liberation Way shamelessly took advantage of people suffering from substance use disorder to line their own pockets,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “As Medical Director, Dr. Braccia played a significant role in this fraud and betrayed the patients he was supposed to be helping. I’m proud that through collaboration with our federal law enforcement partners, we held him accountable for his despicable actions today, and we will continue to do the same with the remaining Liberation Way defendants.”
The case was investigated with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Personnel Management, and the Department of Labor. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Beam Winter and Special Assistant United States Attorneys Kristy Christ and Robert Labar of the AG’s Office.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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