Owensboro Cardiologist Facing Federal Civil False Claims Allegations
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Kentucky announced it has reason to believe an Owensboro cardiologist executed an “elaborate and extensive scheme” to maximize profits from patients and Medicare while accepting kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company.
According to a release issued by U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman’s office, Dr. Kishor N. Vora knowingly and willfully accepted illegal kickbacks from a laboratory, National Molecular Testing Corporation (NMTC), in exchange for sending Medicare-reimbursed orders for pharmacogenomics testing (tests that show how genes affect a person’s response to particular drugs). The complaint against him also alleges Vora ordered and submitted medically unnecessary and unreasonable tests to NMTC in exchange for these illegal kickbacks.
In addition, the U.S. Attorney’s Office contends between May 1, 2012, and and March 31, 2013, Vora, Owensboro Medical Practice PLLC, and Owensboro Heart and Vascular knowingly submitted more than $3 million in false claims to Medicare by entering into financial arrangements with the laboratory related to the referral, furnishing and submissions of claims for pharmacogenomics testing; receiving illegal remuneration from the clinical laboratory in exchange for referrals, and caused Medicare billing for testing claims that were not medically necessary.
U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman’s office specifically alleges the defendants caused false claims to be presented for payment to government healthcare programs, submitted false statements material to these claims, and conspired with others to present false claims for payment.
If found liable for violations of the False Claims Act, the defendants would be responsible for three times the damages to government healthcare programs and civil penalties.
“I know from personal experience that Owensboro is served by a community of dedicated and talented medical practitioners whose sole focus is that of their patients’ care and well-being,” Coleman said. “What will not be tolerated by the United States Attorney’s Office, however, is when that motivation shifts to a physician’s misuse of patients as a tool for financial gain in violation of federal law.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. C. Malloy with assistance from Cristal Fox, Phil Bezehertny, and Melissa Reynolds are managing the case. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General is managing the investigation.