Mission Family Practitioner Pays $2 Million to Resolve Allegations
McALLEN, Texas – A South Texas doctor has agreed to pay the United States $2,133,959.30 to resolve allegations he fraudulently submitted claims to the Medicare program for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
“This settlement reflects our continued resolve to protect the Medicare program from exploitation,” said Patrick. “We will vigorously pursue providers who subject vulnerable patients to medically unnecessary and wasteful services in order to boost their profits and will not hesitate to bring enforcement actions when necessary.”
Dr. Augusto Castrillon is a family physician who, until recently, owned and operated the Castrillon Family Clinic in Mission.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) conducted a proactive review of claims data and determined Castrillon to be a significant statistical outlier for various metrics. He appeared to be ordering an excessive number of diagnostic tests – many of which were highly complicated and ones which only trained specialists such as neurologists or cardiologists typically order. Claims data also indicated these tests were ordered for patients on a recurring basis.
The settlement resolves allegations that, from June 2009 to June 2015, Castrillon violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary transcranial doppler imaging studies, electromyography and nerve conduction studies and autonomic function testing.
The USAO jointly conducted the investigation with the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brad Gray and Andrew Bobb handled the investigation and conducted settlement negotiations.
The claims resolved by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.