Former Celina Physician Found Guilty Of Health Care Fraud, Violations Of The Controlled Substances Act, And Obstruction Of Justice
NASHVILLE – U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis announced today that the United States has reached an agreement with Nashville Acupuncture Clinic, PLLC (NAC) to settle allegations of violating the False Claims Act (FCA). Under the terms of the agreement, NAC will pay $300,000 to resolve the allegations.
“Health care fraud is a top priority of this office,” said U.S. Attorney Leventis. “We will continue to aggressively pursue anyone involved in fraud against government programs. Whether it be a corporate entity, a clinic, or an individual provider, those who seek to exploit federal health care programs for financial gain can expect to be the focus of our civil and criminal enforcement efforts.”
The United States contends that the NAC violated the FCA by submitting false claims to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for non-reimbursable acupuncture for which the claims were not authorized, not allowed as coded, or lacked supporting documentation. The settlement covers conduct from the period of January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2020, during which the VA reimbursed NAC for claims arising from false statements.
These allegations follow an internal audit by the VA - Office of Inspector General and in its published report issued in December 2021. The audit team estimated that improper payments for acupuncture amounted to about $137 million nationwide during FY 2018 and FY 2019.
“The VA OIG is committed to using all available resources, including proactive data reviews of medical provider billing to identify any billing practices that are statistical outliers. Today’s settlement is a result of those efforts,” said Special Agent in Charge Kim Lampkins of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Mid-Atlantic Field Office. “This civil settlement is a testament to the VA OIG’s commitment to safeguarding the integrity of VA’s healthcare programs and preserving taxpayer funds."
The civil claims resolved by settlement are allegations. There has been no determination or admission of liability in this matter.
This case was investigated by the VA-Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kara F. Sweet represented the United States.
# # # # #
Public Affairs Officer