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Paducah doctor admits to violating false claims act, role in telehealth scheme

A western Kentucky doctor agreed to pay $561,800 to resolve allegations that he violated the...
A western Kentucky doctor agreed to pay $561,800 to resolve allegations that he violated the false claims act.(Getty Images)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 1:07 PM CDT
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PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - A western Kentucky doctor agreed to pay $561,800 to resolve allegations that he violated the false claims act.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, the government’s complaint alleged that, between November 16, 2017, through August 28, 2020, Patrick C. Finney, M.D., located in Paducah, knowingly caused to be submitted, and conspired to submit and cause the submission of, more than $3million in false claims to Medicare.

He did so by entering into financial arrangements with Barton Associates, a locum tenens physician staffing firm, to provide telehealth services for clients of Barton Associates, related to the referral of Medicare patients for the furnishing of DME and genetic testing items and services and ordering or arranging for the ordering of DME and genetic testing items and services.

Finney also allegedly received illegal remuneration from Barton Associates and its telehealth clients in exchange for referring Medicare patients and ordering or arranging for the ordering of DME and genetic testing items and services, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

He allegedly caused to be billed to Medicare false claims for DME and genetic testing, because the claims were tainted by kickbacks and were not medically necessary, as he did not engage in the treatment of the Medicare beneficiaries, had no physician-patient relationship with the beneficiaries, often did not speak with the beneficiaries and knew his prescribed goods and services were not medically necessary.

Finney admitted that he violated the False Claims Act by knowingly causing the submission of false or fraudulent claims to Medicare. He also admitted to knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used, false records and statements to obtain payment from Medicare, and conspiring to defraud Medicare by causing the submission and payment of false or fraudulent claims. Finally, he admitted that these actions caused damages for which he is liable to the United States in the amount of $11,025,088 under the False Claims Act (which allows for damages in the amount of three times the government’s loss, plus penalties).

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