A Greenwich physician with an acupuncture practice has entered into a civil settlement with the federal government in which he and his corporation will pay $300,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act.
In a statement, Acting United States Attorney Deirdre M. Daly announced the settlement on Friday involving Dr. Jun Xu and his professional corporation, Rehabilitation Medicine and Acupuncture Center LLC, which has offices in Riverside.
Daly explained that the allegations against Xu involve fraudulent billing to Medicare for physical therapy services. The government alleged that Xu submitted claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that were medically unnecessary and/or not performed in accordance with Medicare requirements. Specifically, the government claimed that Xu billed Medicare for one-on-one physical therapy services when the physical therapist was, in fact, providing group therapy, and that he submitted claims to Medicare for therapy services that were rendered by massage therapists.
Medicare regulations explicitly state “the services of…massage therapists…may not be billed as therapy services.”
To resolve their liability under the False Claims Act, Xu and his professional corporation paid $300,000 in order to reimburse the Medicare programs for conduct that occurred from Jan. 1, 2007 through Dec. 31, 2009.
“Health care providers that overcharge Medicare drain critical funds from the Medicare program and increase health care costs,” Daly said in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s office is committed to vigorously pursuing physicians and other health care providers who submit fraudulent claims to federal health care programs. Providers who submit false claims to the government face serious monetary and administrative sanctions.”
Under the False Claims Act, the government can recover up to three times its actual damages, plus penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 for each false claim.
In entering into the settlement agreement, Xu and his professional corporation did not admit liability.
The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services
Daly said anyone who suspects health care fraud can report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 777-6311 or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.