Davenport Vascular Surgeon Agrees To Pay $2.23 Million To Settle Health Care Fraud Claims Associated With Vein Ablation Services
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that Dr. Irfan Siddiqui and his vascular surgery practice, Heart and Vascular Institute of Florida (HAVI), have agreed to pay the United States $2,230,000 to resolve allegations that, from January 2, 2011, to June 30, 2018, Dr. Siddiqui and HAVI violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to federal health programs for reimbursement of vein ablation procedures.
“Our Civil Division aggressively pursues medical providers whose practices damage vital federal health programs,” said U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. “This settlement is an excellent example of the robust civil health care fraud enforcement that has long been a central part of our district’s mission.”
The settlement announced today resolves allegations that Dr. Siddiqui and HAVI submitted claims to Medicare and TRICARE for vein ablation services that contained false diagnoses and symptoms. Dr. Siddiqui and HAVI also up-coded evaluation and management service claims to levels of service that were not supported by patients’ medical records, and submitted claims for vein ablation procedures that were medically unnecessary or performed by unqualified personnel, or both.
Today’s settlement results from a coordinated effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida with assistance from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorney Lindsay Saxe Griffin led the investigation.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
The settlement arises from a lawsuit filed by one of Dr. Siddiqui’s patients, Ms. Lois Hawks, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The case is styled United States ex rel. Hawks v. Heart and Vascular Institute of Florida, et al., case no. 8:16cv1574 (M.D. Fla.). Under the settlement, Ms. Hawks will receive $446,000 as a statutory relator’s share in the recovery.