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U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Georgia Sues Alabama Doctor for Alleged False Claims Act Violations

August 29, 2010

“This lawsuit shows what happens when a doctor puts money before the health and safety of his patients,” said Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia earlier this month after her office filed suit against Dr. Robert M. Ritchea.  According to allegations in the Complaint:

“[Dr. Ritchea] allowed an unlicensed medical assistant to administer injections that are required to be administered by a physician; assigned treatment codes improperly in order to increase the amount of Medicare reimbursement he received; prescribed and administered the pain treatment protocol in situations where it was not medically necessary; and billed Medicare for procedures that were not reimbursable by Medicare.”

Typically, such allegations are brought to the attention of federal authorities through the filing of a qui tam Complaint by an insider or whistleblower. The government’s Complaint against Dr. Ritchea, however, originated in investigations by state medical boards in Georgia and Alabama. Read the Complaint in its entirety below:

United States v. Ritchea

The Complaint seeks over $6 million in treble damages under the federal False Claims Act plus penalties.

To report upcoding or other Medicare fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.

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