A New Jersey chiropractor agreed to pay the Federal government $2 million to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act (“Lincoln’s Law”) by billing Medicare for medically-unnecessary knee treatments and receiving kickbacks from the maker of a knee brace.
According to investigators, the chiropractor offered a medical procedure called “viscosupplementation,” which is the injection of a viscous substance in the knee to augment tissue between the bones that has worn down and lost its ability to cushion the joints. Along with a partner in his practice he established a network of clinics that offered clinics for conducting such procedures, with a percentage of the monies earned by the clinics going back to the defendant.
Investigators say the defendant performed several such procedures that were not medically necessary, including upon Medicare recipients. In addition, the procedures carried out allegedly included the use of imported viscosupplements and injecting multiple brands of viscosupplements in the same patient without clinical support.
Meanwhile, investigators say the network he created to perform viscosupplementation prescribed knee braces on several patients, including Medicare beneficiaries, that were also medically unnecessary. They say the knee braces prescribed by the network were made by one manufacturer, which allegedly paid the defendant and his clinics kickbacks for purchasing custom knee braces for their practice.
Federal investigators say the charges are a result of an investigation using a critical analysis of Medicare data. To date, seven other clinic owners have settled with the government, agreeing to pay a combined total of $7.1 million to the Federal government.
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