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Paducah doctor admits to more than $3 million in false Medicare claims through telehealth scheme

doctor's office
Pixabay
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A Paducah doctor has admitted to creating and submitting more than $3 million worth of false claims to Medicare, according to a Tuesday release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.

Patrick C. Finney entered into agreements with Barton Associates, a Massachusetts-based physician staffing firm, to provide telehealth services for its clients and refer Medicare patients for genetic testing and medical equipment.

Patrick C. Finney
Baptist Health
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Peggy Setinsek

Special agent in charge Tamala E. Miles, with the Office of the Inspector General’s Department of Health and Human Services, gave more details in the release.

“This provider leveraged his professional status to pursue illegitimate personal profit, undermining both patient trust and the integrity of federal health care programs,” Miles said.

The release indicates Finney knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare from November 2017 to August 2020 by using false records and statements to receive illegal remuneration from Barton Associates for referring Medicare patients and recommending genetic tests and medical equipment in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

The government’s complaint also saidFinney submitted claims that were “not medically necessary” and that Finney did not treat Medicare beneficiaries.

“We will continue to aggressively pursue medical providers engaged in illegal kickback schemes,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky Michael A. Bennett said in the release. “Fraudulent conduct puts vulnerable patients at risk of harm and drains the taxpayer funded Medicare program of money intended for legitimate claims.”

Finney is liable to the United States for over $11 million dollars – three times the government’s losses plus penalties. He has agreed to pay $561,800 dollars to fulfill his obligation

Zacharie Lamb is a music major at Murray State University and is a Graves County native.
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