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Radiation Oncologist and Healthcare Facility Pay $12M to Settle False Claims

March 23, 2010

Fred Fangman, a former director of radiation oncology at Melbourne Internal Medicine Associates P.A. (MIMA), has been vindicated by a whistleblower lawsuit that uncovered upcoding and other fraud at a network of oncology facilities in Brevard County, Florida. Fangman will receive over $2.6 million of the $12 million paid by MIMA and his former colleague Todd Scarbrough. DoJ’s investigation of Fangman’s allegations revealed “that the MIMA Cancer Center had defrauded the federal health care programs by improperly inflating claims through various schemes specifically designed to cloak the fraudulent practices.” According to DoJ:

“[T]he MIMA Cancer Center billed for services not supervised, duplicate and unnecessary services, services not rendered and upcoded services – a practice in which provider services are billed for higher procedure codes than were actually performed. The United States’ investigation found that MIMA executives had knowledge of a substantial number of the fraudulent billing practices at the facility, but had failed to stop the fraudulent billing.”

Such practices are all too common but more often than not go undetected, because few individuals are as brave as Fangman. “Health care providers must be held accountable for their billing practices,” said A. Brian Albritton, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. “Those who submit false claims will be sought out and in the end they will pay dearly for their fraudulent claims.”

To report Medicare Fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.

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