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Oklahoma hospital, physician settle Medicare fraud claims for $1.5 million

Compliance Monitor, June 27, 2012

 Harmon County Healthcare Authority (HCHA) and Akram R. Abraham, MD, of Hollis, Okla., will pay $1.55 million to settle charges that they defrauded Medicare, according to a June 20 Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.

HCHA and Abraham allegedly submitted claims that violated both the Anti-kickback Statue and the Stark Law from July 1, 2001, through May 30, 2008. HCHA entered into a contract with Abraham that provided him excess and unreasonable payment. The DOJ said the illegal remuneration included:
 
  • Free rent for office space
  • Free billing and staff personnel
  • Reimbursement of uncollected accounts receivable
  • Duplicative per encounter payments for emergency department services
  • Improper payment of locum tenens physician services
 
HCHA and Abraham also falsely certified that the Medicare and Medicaid claims they submitted complied with federal and state regulations.
 
HCHA and Abraham agreed to $550,000 and $1 million repayments, respectively, to settle the claims. 

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