Nursing home podiatrist admits overbilling 'thousands' of times after clipping toenails

A Missouri podiatrist has agreed to pay nearly $1 million for repeatedly billing for more complex services after clipping nursing home residents' toenails, federal authorities recently announced. The podiatrist also faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Lawrence B. Iken, DPM, was an independent contractor for Preferred Podiatry Group, which works with long-term facilities in six states, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. As a PPG contractor, Iken worked at nursing homes in the St. Louis area. He has admitted that on “thousands of occasions,” he billed for incising and draining abscesses and hematomas, when in fact he only clipped residents' toenails.

Iken, 65, also operated as a sole practitioner under the company name Lawrence B. Iken, DPM, LLC. He has agreed to a judgment of $999,170, which is the amount he and his company received from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for the false claims, the U.S. Attorney announced. Iken also could face additional fines as well as jail time.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 17.