Kentucky Internist Admits to Role in $11M Medicare Fraud Scheme

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A Kentucky-based internist has agreed to pay $561,800 to resolve allegations that he knowingly violated the False Claims Act (FCA).

Based on federal officials, from November 2017 through August 2020, Patrick C. Finney, MD, of Paducah, Kentucky, conspired and submitted greater than $3 million in false claims to Medicare with a purpose to obtain payment from the medical health insurance program.

Federal officials claim the submissions began after Finney was employed by Barton Associates, a locum tenens physicians staffing firm, where he provided telehealth services to the firm’s clients. In exchange for illegal remuneration from the firm, Finney referred Medicare patients for the furnishing of durable medical equipment and genetic testing items and services when such items and services weren’t medically needed.

Federal authorities claim that bills from the alleged services were sent to Medicare as false claims and were “tainted by kickbacks,” yielding profit for Finney. Officials further allege that Finney didn’t engage within the treatment of Medicare beneficiaries, had no physician-patient relationship with the beneficiaries, often didn’t speak with the beneficiaries, and knew that his prescribed items and services weren’t medically needed.

“This provider leveraged his skilled status to pursue illegitimate personal profit, undermining each patient trust and the integrity of federal healthcare programs,” said Tamala E. Miles, special agent in charge with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

By conspiring to defraud Medicare, Finney became liable to the US for over $11 million under the FCA, which allows damages 3 times the federal government’s loss along with penalties.

Based on the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Finney obtained his license to practice within the state in 1999. That license expires in February 2023.

Frankie Rowland is an Atlanta-based freelance author.

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