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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Laurel-Based Physicians Group and Neurologist Agree to Pay Almost One Million Dollars to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

Settlement Stems from Alleged Medicare Overpayments to Doctors

Jackson, Miss. - Jefferson Medical Associates, a now dissolved, multi-specialty medical practice group in Laurel, and Dr. Aremmia Tanious, have agreed to pay the United States $817,635.06 to resolve claims under the False Claims Act arising from Medicare overpayments to Jefferson Medical Associates and Dr. Tanious, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.

This settlement resolves allegations that from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2014, Jefferson Medical Associates and Dr. Tanious violated the False Claims Act by failing to return overpayments they received from Medicare on claims. In addition, from February 1, 2013, through June 30, 2017, it was alleged that Jefferson Medical Associates and Dr. Tanious billed Medicare using multiple medical codes when the medical documentation did not support the use of such billing practices.

During the course of the government’s investigation, Jefferson Medical Associates and Dr. Tanious provided assistance through voluntary disclosures to the U.S. Attorney’s Office after they discovered through audits of patient files and claims data that Medicare had been overbilled for certain services.

"This settlement should serve as a reminder to medical providers receiving Medicare funds that they must timely report and return any overpayments owed to Medicare or be subject to liability under the False Claims Act. I applaud our healthcare fraud investigators and prosecutors, as well as agents with the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services, for their diligent work in recovering the public’s money," said U.S. Attorney Hurst.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Healthcare Fraud Investigator Ron Jefferson and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristi H. Johnson handled the matter for the United States.

The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of civil liability.

Topic(s): 
False Claims Act
Updated February 12, 2019