Dubuque Care Facility’s Owner Agrees to Repay Federal Medicaid Funds to Resolve Allegations Relating to COVID-19 Screening Procedures
Bradley Brown, D.C., from Oelwein, Iowa, and his clinic, Brown Chiropractic, P.C., have agreed to pay $79,919 to resolve allegations Brown violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing Medicare and Medicaid for chiropractic adjustments after providing free electrical stimulation to beneficiaries to influence those beneficiaries to receive chiropractic adjustments from Brown. The government alleged that this conduct violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and, in turn, the False Claims Act. The claims at issue were submitted between January 1, 2012, and September 30, 2016.
The Anti-Kickback Statute’s purpose, in part, is to protect patients and federal healthcare programs from fraud and abuse by limiting the influence of money or improper incentives on healthcare decisions. It is intended to ensure, among other things, that improper financial incentives do not compromise providers’ medical judgments and that inappropriate considerations do not cloud beneficiaries’ decisions when determining which providers to utilize and which services to obtain.
“Our office takes seriously our responsibility to safeguard taxpayer dollars and to ensure a level playing field for healthcare providers,” said Peter E. Deegan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa. “We appreciate Dr. Brown’s cooperation in the investigation and hope this settlement sends a message to all providers that they must comply with all applicable rules and regulations or face consequences.”
The allegations resolved by the settlement arose from an investigation led by the Department of Health and Human Services and conducted in conjunction with the State of Iowa’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the State of Iowa’s Medicaid Program Integrity Unit. False Claims Act cases also arise under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the Act, which permit a private party with knowledge of false claims to bring suit on behalf of the United States and then share in any recovery.
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