A Florida dermatology practice that consults to nursing homes is being forced to pay $4 million to settle allegations that it overused radiation simulations and upcoded claims for the procedures.
Dermatology Healthcare, of Tampa, FL, allegedly submitted millions of dollars in false claims to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer using superficial radiation therapy. The alleged fraud took place between January 2011 and December 2016, when the practice failed to supervise the administration of such radiation therapy, upcoded claims for the treatments, and overutilized radiation simulations, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
The settlement was the result of a lawsuit filed by another dermatologist, Theodore Schiff, M.D., who is based in Palm Beach County, FL, authorities said.
In a statement to McKnight’s, Dermatology Healthcare said that it denied the allegations and chose to settle with the DOJ to avoid prolonged and costly litigation. The accusations arose, it said, from a previous employee who used improper billing codes for a new service, and the quality of care “was never challenged.”
“Dermatology Healthcare believes the allegations are without merit, as intent is an essential element of a false claim and without intent there is no false claim. Dermatology Healthcare would never intend to falsely bill their government,” the statement said.