STOCKTON, Calif. (BCN) — A doctor in Stockton has agreed to pay nearly $2 million to resolve allegations of health care fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice Eastern Division announced on Friday.
Azizulah “Aziz” Kamali and his medical corporation, Aziz Kamali M.D. Inc., have agreed to pay $1.9 million based on allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting millions of dollars of false claims to Medicare, prosecutors said. Kamali and his corporation admitted to submitting claims to Medicare for surgically implanted neurostimulator devices even though they never performed surgery or implanted any.
Instead, they taped a disposable electroacupuncture device called “Stavix” in their patient’s ears. These devices are not reimbursable by Medicare, the DOJ said.
Kamali and his company also admitted to paying a marketing company a percentage of their Medicare reimbursements in exchange for the the marketing company recommending the Stavix products to Kamali’s patients. This violated the anti-kickback statute in the False Claims Act.
In addition to the large fine, Kamali and company have agreed to enter into an Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health of Human Services Office of Inspector General that requires them to implement specific compliance measures such as training on health care fraud laws and undergoing third-party audits of the medical necessity of their Medicare claims.
“This provider egregiously exploited the trust of his patients for illegitimate financial gain,” said Steven J. Ryan, special agent in charge with the Inspector General.
“The defendants falsely claimed that they conducted expensive and invasive surgical procedures to dishonestly obtain millions of dollars from Medicare,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert. “We identified a substantial number of false claims that enabled our office to make a significant recovery of tax payer dollars.”
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