Nursing home optometrist gets 33-month sentence for overbilling

Share this article:

An optometrist who served Georgia nursing homes faces a 33-month prison sentence for defrauding Medicare.

Jeffrey Sponseller, O.D., pleaded guilty to the false claims charges, and on Thursday received his sentence in a U.S. District Court in Augusta, according to local reports. The sentencing hearing lasted all day, and included testimony from investigators with government agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

FBI Special Agent Paul Kubala said Sponseller once billed for doing comprehensive eye exams for 59 nursing home residents in three hours, including one person who didn't have eyes, according to local newspaper The Augusta Chronicle.

A CMS investigator testified that Sponseller most often billed under the code for comprehensive eye exams given for the first time to medically complex patients, but related documentation was not sufficient to support any Medicare payment.

The government is seeking about $500,000 in restitution, the Chronicle reported.

In another recent case related to nursing home eye exams, a Kentucky optometrist faces a False Claims Act lawsuit charging he grossly overbilled. 

Share this article:

More in News

Double homicide at Houston nursing home; victims' roommate arrested

Double homicide at Houston nursing home; victims' roommate ...

A double murder occurred late Tuesday night in a Houston nursing home room shared by four men, according to local authorities. Police arrested Guillermo Correa on suspicion of beating two ...

$2 million HIPAA settlement highlights mobile device risks facing healthcare providers

Laptops and other mobile devices containing personal health information have been stolen from long-term care ombudsman programs and other healthcare organizations, including from Concentra Health Services and QCA Health Plan Inc. Now, Concentra and QCA have agreed to legal settlements totaling nearly $2 million, federal ...

Long-term care nurses often 'scramble' to get family members' blessing for palliative ...

Nursing home residents might not transition to full palliative care until they are very near death, at which point nurses and family members act in a state of crisis, suggests recently published research out of Canada.