United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced today that Center for Pain Management, S.C. (“CPM”), and its owner, Dr. Nosheen Hasan, agreed to pay at least $1.35 million to resolve allegations that they received kickbacks from a urine drug testing laboratory in exchange for ordering medically unnecessary tests for Medicare and Medicaid patients. CPM and Dr. Hasan also agreed to future contingent payments for the next five years, with the amount of the payments based on specified financial criteria. CPM and Dr. Hasan separately entered into an Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS-OIG”), to monitor ongoing compliance with applicable Medicare and Medicaid rules.
CPM operates pain management clinics in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Dr. Hasan is the sole owner of CPM and provided pain management services through CPM. As alleged in the Complaint-in-Intervention filed by the United States in the case, CPM and Dr. Hasan received illegal remuneration from Midwest Laboratory Sales & Consulting, LLC (“Midwest”), and its owner, Matthew Samuelson, in exchange for ordering urine drug tests performed by Midwest, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act.
The government further alleged that CPM and Dr. Hasan ordered these tests despite knowing that they were not medically necessary. Over the course of the more than five-year-long arrangement, CPM and Dr. Hasan ordered thousands of unnecessary tests that were paid for by Medicare and Medicaid and received over $1 million in illegal kickbacks from Midwest for ordering the tests. The government previously resolved its claims against Midwest and Mr. Samuelson, who admitted that they violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute.
“Medicare and Medicaid only pay for tests that are needed by patients, not tests ordered by physicians to line their own pockets,” said United States Attorney Krueger. “As pain management specialists prescribing controlled substances, CPM and Dr. Hasan took advantage of their patients and the government to order thousands of unnecessary drug tests in return for illegal payments from a laboratory. This settlement imposes a significant penalty on CPM and Dr. Hasan and will help make the federal government whole for their wrongdoing.”
“Our watchdog agency will hold accountable medical providers who try to boost their profits by taking kickbacks to bill federal health care programs for medically unnecessary tests,” said Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III, HHS-OIG, Chicago Region. “To help ensure legitimate billing moving forward, we will closely monitor CPM and Dr. Hasan under the terms of an Integrity Agreement.”
Robert Hughes, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Milwaukee Field Office said: “The FBI prioritizes efforts to stop healthcare fraud and will continue to hold accountable physicians who misuse Medicare and Medicaid dollars. By requiring CPM and Dr. Hasan to repay over $1 million, this settlement underscores that healthcare providers cannot put their interests ahead of their patients or the taxpayers.”
The government’s lawsuit resulted from a whistleblower complaint filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Accordingly, the whistleblower will receive a share of the settlement. The lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. Fering v. Center for Pain Management, et al., 17-cv-1796, and is pending in the District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Source: Department of Justice