Bettendorf dermatologist settles $1.66 million healthcare fraud claim

A Bettendorf dermatologist settled a fraud claim with the department of justice for $1.66 million.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:06 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) - A Bettendorf dermatologist settled a fraud claim with the department of justice for $1.66 million.

Eastern Iowa Dermatology, PLC, located in Bettendorf, and Dr. Manish Kumar have agreed to pay $1.66 million to resolve allegations for violations of the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to Medicare for dermatology office visits and the destruction or removal of skin tags and lesions, according to a media release.

The False Claims Act considers “up-coding”— the practice of exaggerating the amount or complexity of medical services rendered in order to achieve a higher level of reimbursement—a form of fraud, court records show. Dr. Kumar and Eastern Iowa Dermatology also agreed to an Integrity Agreement and will submit to ongoing monitoring by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Health care providers that try to boost their profits by submitting fraudulent claims to Federal health care programs threaten the integrity of those programs and drive up prices for everyone,” said Tamala E. Miles, Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “We work tirelessly alongside our law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of Federal health care programs and to ensure the appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.”

Tips and complaints from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement can be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services at 800-447-8477, according to the department of justice. False Claims Act cases can also be brought under the qui tam provisions of the Act, which encourage whistleblowers to bring suit on behalf of the United States and share in any financial recovery.

The settlement agreement may be viewed here.

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