RECENT HEALTH LAW NEWS


CT New Law Alert: Medical Debt Cannot be Reported to Credit Agencies
June 13, 2024 | Ada Janocinska | Legislation and Public Policy
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed a new bill into law that prohibits healthcare providers from reporting patients’ medical debt to credit rating agencies. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2024. In addition, any contracts signed by healthcare providers with credit rating agencies on or after July 1,…
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Must You Rehire Suspended Providers Who Get Their License Back? Look to Contract
June 10, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Employer/Employee
A May 20 article in Part B News, “Must You Rehire Suspended Providers Who Get Their License Back? Look to Contract,” discussed whether an employer must rehire a suspended provider who gets his or her license back. Rivkin Radler’s Chris Kutner was quoted in the article. Chris said that the…
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Conducting HIPAA Breach Assessments and Disclosures: Requirements and Tips for Success
May 29, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Legislation and Public Policy
On Thursday, June 13, in the next installment of Rivkin Radler’s Healthcare Compliance Lunch & Learn series, Rivkin Radler partner Ashley Algazi will present ”Conducting HIPAA Breach Assessments and Disclosures: Requirements and Tips for Success.”  The program will take place from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM Eastern time via Zoom.…
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MA Hospital Pays $24 Million to Settle FCA Case
May 29, 2024 | Mary Aperance | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Hospitals | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
On May 16, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced that Cape Cod Hospital agreed to pay $24.3 million to resolve alleged violations of the federal False Claims Act (FCA) for knowingly failing to follow Medicare’s requirements for certain procedures performed. Beginning in 2015, the hospital offered…
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Guilty Plea in $50 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
May 16, 2024 | Joseph DiBella | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid | Pharmaceuticals
Manishkumar Patel of Pelham Manor, NY recently pleaded guilty in connection with a healthcare fraud and kickback scheme involving the sale of fraudulent prescriptions to pharmacies, durable medical equipment suppliers, and laboratories, which then obtained payments from Medicare. The scheme resulted in $50 million in fraudulent claims from 2019-22. Patel…
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Billing for Unsupervised PAs Leads to $2 Million Settlement
May 14, 2024 | Mary Aperance | Employer/Employee | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan announced on May 8 that Michigan Ear Care PLLC and James Aronovitz, D.O. agreed to pay over $2 million to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Aronovitz allegedly billed for ear care services…
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Lab Owner Pleads Guilty in Covid Test Kit Fraud Scheme
May 08, 2024 | Joseph DiBella | COVID-19 | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
Robert Clark of Pompano Beach, Florida recently pleaded guilty to his role in a Medicare fraud scheme. Clark and his co-conspirators purchased Medicare Beneficiary Identification numbers unlawfully and then billed Medicare for over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits. The conspirators also paid illegal kickbacks and bribes to marketers for referring Medicare beneficiaries…
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Owner and Medical Director of Pain Clinic Jailed for Urine Drug Testing Scheme
May 07, 2024 | Mary Aperance | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
On April 11, the medical director and the owner of a pain clinic in Kentucky were sentenced to prison for their roles in a scheme to defraud federal healthcare programs and commercial insurance companies for medically unnecessary urine drug testing. Previously, in March 2023, the clinic’s medical director, William Lawrence…
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FTC Issues New Rule to Abolish Non-Compete Agreements
April 29, 2024 | Nancy Del Pizzo and Tim Gonzalez | Employer/Employee | Legislation and Public Policy
On Tuesday, April 23, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a final rule designed to promote competition and new business formation that, when effective, will impose a nationwide ban on non-compete agreements across all industries. Existing non-compete agreements for employees will become unenforceable. Existing non-competes for senior executives can remain…
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NP Gets Jail Time for DME Fraud Scheme
April 26, 2024 | Mary Aperance | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medical Devices and Wearables | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth
On April 10, Virginia-based nurse practitioner Daphne Jenkins was sentenced to prison for her participation in a $7.8 million telemedicine fraud scheme that involved medically unnecessary orders for durable medical equipment (DME). As part of the scheme, Medicare claims were submitted based on false documentation and tainted by kickbacks.   The…
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NYS Maintains Independent Practice Authority for NPs
April 22, 2024 | Jeffrey Ehrhardt and Eric Fader | Legislation and Public Policy
The New York State 2024-2025 budget includes legislation that extends until July 1, 2026 the independent practice authority for certain qualified nurse practitioners with over 3,600 practice hours.  Our prior post on this topic provides additional details on which nurse practitioners qualify to practice independently, that is, without a written…
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Defending Provider Audits
April 05, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid | Private Insurers
On Thursday, April 11, in the next installment of Rivkin Radler’s Healthcare Compliance Lunch & Learn series, Rivkin Radler’s Bob Hussar, Chris Kutner and Mary Aperance will present “Defending Provider Audits.”  The program will take place from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM Eastern time via Zoom. The program will cover…
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Patient and Family Complaints Require Careful Response
April 05, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Litigation | Uncategorized
An article in the April issue of Healthcare Risk Management, “Patient and Family Complaints Require Careful Response,” highlights ways that healthcare organizations can address patient and family complaints in a professional and courteous way to avoid further escalation. Rivkin Radler partner Eric Strober was quoted in the article. “Healthcare professionals should…
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Federal Rules Limit “Junk” Health Plans
April 05, 2024 | Ada Janocinska | Affordable Care Act | Legislation and Public Policy | Private Insurers
On March 28, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury collectively issued final rules with respect to short-term and limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans in an effort to reduce healthcare costs by protecting consumers from purchasing such “junk” health plans that may provide little to…
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Rivkin Radler to Exhibit and Present at Greater Long Island Dental Meeting
April 01, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Dentistry
Rivkin Radler’s Dental Practice Counseling Group will be exhibiting and presenting at the Greater Long Island Dental Meeting from April 2-3 at the Melville Hilton. “Practice Transitions for the Practicing Dentist” will be presented by Ben Malerba, Doug Menikheim, Joel Greenberg, Eric Ploumis, and Sean Simensky on Tuesday, April 2 from…
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FDA Sends a Message with Two Warning Letters to Amazon
April 01, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | FDA | Legislation and Public Policy | Pharmaceuticals
Marc S. Ullman, of counsel to Rivkin Radler, wrote the March 28 article “FDA sends a message with two warning letters to Amazon” in Natural Products Insider. In the article, Marc explains the importance of the FDA warning letters on homeopathic “supplements” and products that contain active pharmaceutical ingredients. Marc writes,…
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NY Joins List of States Prohibiting Geofencing Near Healthcare Facilities
March 29, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Cybersecurity | HIPAA | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy
Rivkin Radler’s Frank Izzo and Jeff Ehrhardt authored an article in the Spring 2024 issue of USLAW magazine, “New York Joins List of States Prohibiting Geofencing Near Healthcare Facilities.” The article discussed geofencing laws, enacted partly in response to the Supreme Court Dobbs decision, in depth by state. Sign up…
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NJ LCSW Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Private Health Insurers for Years
March 29, 2024 | Tim Gonzalez | Behavioral Health | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Private Insurers
The owner of Bergen Alliance Counseling Services in Paramus, New Jersey pleaded guilty to a run-of-the-mill healthcare fraud scheme in District Court in Newark on March 19. Maria Cosentino of Garfield, a licensed clinical social worker, admitted to billing private healthcare programs for counseling sessions that did not take place.…
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NY Acupuncturist Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud in NJ
March 28, 2024 | Tim Gonzalez | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation
A New York acupuncturist recently admitted to billing Amtrak’s health care benefit plan for services that were never provided and were medically unnecessary. From January 2019 through June 2022, Punson Figueroa of Long Island City, New York paid Amtrak employees hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash kickbacks in order…
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NYC Man Pleads Guilty in $3.5 Million COVID-19 Kickback Scheme
March 22, 2024 | Tim Gonzalez | COVID-19 | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
On February 26, David Weathers of the Bronx pleaded guilty in federal court in New Jersey for his role in a COVID-19 kickback conspiracy. The government had charged Weathers with soliciting kickbacks in return for referrals of COVID-19 test samples, in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). At the…
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CA Pharmaceutical Company Settles AKS and FCA Claims in NJ
March 21, 2024 | Tim Gonzalez | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid | Pharmaceuticals
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey recently announced a $750,000 settlement with Sentynl Therapeutics Inc., a California-based specialty pharmaceutical company. The settlement resolved allegations that Sentynl improperly provided kickbacks to a physician to induce prescriptions of its opioid products in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute…
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Warning: Minor Errors Can Mean Big Takebacks for AWV Claims
March 15, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Behavioral Health | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
A March 11 article in Part B News, “Warning: Minor Errors Can Mean Big Takebacks for AWV Claims,” discussed how compliance shortcomings can cause problems for claims to Medicare for annual wellness visits (AWVs). Rivkin Radler’s Mary Aperance was quoted in the article. “Routine internal audits should be conducted to…
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NY Nursing Home Settles Fraud Suit
March 11, 2024 | Chris Kutner | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid | Nursing Homes
On March 4, the New York Attorney General announced an $8.6 million settlement with Fulton Commons Care Center, a nursing home located in East Meadow, NY. The settlement resolves an action brought against Fulton in 2022 claiming financial fraud, physical abuse, mistreatment of residents, and covering up resident complaints. The…
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Physician Employment Arrangements: Assuring Compliance while Maximizing Opportunities
March 02, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Employer/Employee | Fraud and Abuse | Legislation and Public Policy
On Thursday, March 7, in the next installment of Rivkin Radler’s Healthcare Compliance Lunch & Learn series, Rivkin Radler’s Tamika Hardy, Ada Janocinska and Syma Levine will present “Physician Employment Arrangements: Assuring Compliance while Maximizing Opportunities.”  The program will take place from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM Eastern time via…
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Montefiore Medical Center Settles HIPAA Breach for $4.75 Million
February 27, 2024 | Mary Aperance | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Hospitals | Litigation
On February 6, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $4.75 million settlement with Montefiore Medical Center (MMC) for a breach of unsecured electronic protected health information (ePHI). The settlement stems from an internal investigation that found that an employee of the New York hospital system…
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Prohibitions on Provider Inducements
February 15, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Fraud and Abuse | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid
On Tuesday, February 27, in the next installment of Rivkin Radler’s Healthcare Compliance Lunch & Learn series, Rivkin Radler partners Jeff Kaiser and Ben Malerba will present “Prohibitions on Provider Inducements.”  The program will take place from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM Eastern time via Zoom. Some of the topics…
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NY Man Jailed for 12 years for $600 Million Healthcare Fraud
February 14, 2024 | Chris Kutner | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Private Insurers
A Long Island man who impersonated the general counsel of the NFL and an NBA player as part of his scheme for multiple frauds will now serve jail time. Sentenced in federal court in Central Islip, Matthew James used physicians throughout the country to bill health insurers fraudulently to the…
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CT Psychologists Convicted for Medicaid Fraud
February 06, 2024 | Mary Aperance | Behavioral Health | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
On December 19, Michael Lonski, a Greenwich psychologist, was sentenced to a 27-month prison term and three more years of supervised release for a scheme to defraud Medicaid. Lonski submitted over 80,000 claims from 2014 to 2019, and in calendar year 2017 he submitted claims for services on all but…
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NJ Hospital and Investors to Pay $30.6 Million to Settle FCA Claims
January 29, 2024 | Eric Fader | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Hospitals | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that Silver Lake Hospital, a long-term care hospital in Newark, New Jersey, and some of its investors agreed to pay $30.6 million to settle claims that they violated the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act (FDCPA). The hospital…
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OIG Advisory Opinion Blesses Gift Card Plan
January 17, 2024 | Eric Fader | Fraud and Abuse | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid
A recent Advisory Opinion (No. 23-15) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded that a healthcare consulting company’s plan to offer gift cards to physician practices in exchange for referring potential new customers to the company does not violate the federal Anti-Kickback…
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Top Ten Activities to Jump Start Your Compliance Program in the New Year
January 17, 2024 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid
On Thursday, January 25, in the next installment of Rivkin Radler’s Healthcare Compliance Lunch & Learn series, Rivkin Radler partner Bob Hussar will present “Top Ten Activities to Jump Start Your Compliance Program in the New Year.”  The program will take place from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM Eastern time…
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Health Network Pays $345 Million for Compensating Physicians Above FMV
December 28, 2023 | Ada Janocinska | Employer/Employee | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Hospitals | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
Community Health Network, Inc., based in Indianapolis, Indiana, has paid $345 million to settle alleged violations of the False Claims Act (FCA). The lawsuit was initiated through a whistleblower complaint that was filed in 2014 by the network’s former Chief Financial Officer. The suit alleged that, between 2008 and 2009,…
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FinCEN Issues Update to Corporate Transparency Act
December 28, 2023 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Legislation and Public Policy
On November 29, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an update to the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), extending the deadline for reporting companies to disclose beneficial ownership information. Once the CTA goes into effect on January 1, 2024, reporting companies created in 2024 will now have…
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NY Bill to Reduce Temp Agency Staff in Nursing Homes on Governor’s Desk
December 21, 2023 | Jeffrey Ehrhardt | Legislation and Public Policy | Nursing Homes
A law that would incentivize reductions in the use of temporary staffing agencies in nursing homes awaits action by Governor Hochul, who must either sign or veto the law by December 23. [UPDATE: Gov. Hochul signed this bill into law (S.6897/A.7328) on December 22. The Governor’s press release can be found…
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Brooklyn Cardiologist Hit with Fraud Charges
December 20, 2023 | Joseph DiBella | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
On December 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and other agencies announced the indictment of Niranjan Mittal, a Brooklyn cardiologist, on multiple fraud charges. Mittal allegedly fabricated patient records, paid physicians for patient referrals, and billed for medically unnecessary procedures. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also…
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New HHS Rule for Nursing Home Ownership and Manager Disclosure
December 08, 2023 | Lindsay Brocki and Sean Simensky | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Nursing Homes
A new rule will require nursing homes enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid to make disclosures about certain facility ownership, management and other operational information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the rule on November 17, with lawmakers emphasizing that greater transparency in the operation and ownership…
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2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Extends Telehealth Flexibilities
December 01, 2023 | Eric Fader | COVID-19 | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth
The 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier this month, extended certain telehealth-related flexibilities that were implemented during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS issued a Fact Sheet summarizing the telehealth updates, as well as other important…
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Important Changes to NY’s Health Care Proxy Law
November 29, 2023 | Wendy Sheinberg | Legislation and Public Policy
As of November 2023, having a valid health care proxy became easier for New Yorkers. A health care proxy allows a competent adult to appoint an agent to make health care choices for them if they lose the ability to make those decisions for themselves. Two adults who are not…
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NY Physician, Wife and Staff Admit AKS Violations
November 28, 2023 | Eric Fader | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton, NJ announced on November 22 that primary care physician Yitzchok “Barry” Kurtzer of Monsey, NY, and his wife pleaded guilty to soliciting and receiving kickbacks and bribes in exchange for ordering genetic tests. Kurtzer had offices in the Scranton, PA area that his wife…
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OCR Releases Resource Documents on Telehealth Risks
November 14, 2023 | Eric Fader | Cybersecurity | HIPAA | Legislation and Public Policy | Telehealth
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released two resource documents to help healthcare providers explain the privacy and security risks of telehealth to their patients. The first document, entitled “Educating Patients about Privacy and Security Risks to Protected Health Information when Using…
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The Corporate Transparency Act: Will it Impact You?
October 21, 2023 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Legislation and Public Policy
The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) will affect most small, privately held businesses starting January 1, 2024. Does the CTA apply to you? What is the CTA?The CTA, a law enacted by Congress, will require certain business entities to disclose beneficial ownership information to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial…
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NY and CT Prohibit Geofencing near Health Care Facilities
October 13, 2023 | Jeffrey Ehrhardt and Frank Izzo | Cybersecurity | Legislation and Public Policy
New York State and Connecticut have recently enacted laws that prohibit “geofencing” near health care facilities. The New York State law took effect on July 2, 2023, and Connecticut’s on October 1, 2023. These geofencing laws, enacted partly in response to the Supreme Court Dobbs decision (to prevent advertisers from targeting people…
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Recent OMIG Updates (NOTE NEW DATE)
October 12, 2023 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid
On Friday, October 27, in the next installment of Rivkin Radler’s Healthcare Compliance Lunch & Learn series, Rivkin Radler partner Bob Hussar will present an overview of recent regulatory developments at the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG).  The program will take place from 12:00 noon…
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NJ man arrested for selling counterfeit supplements on Amazon
October 12, 2023 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | FDA | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation
A September 29 article in NutraIngredients-USA, “New Jersey Man Arrested for Selling Counterfeit Supplements on Amazon,” discussed the arrest of Brad Snyder of Marlton, NJ, for allegedly counterfeiting Pure Encapsulations and Nature M.D. branded products and selling them online. Rivkin Radler’s Steve Shapiro was quoted in the article. Steve noted…
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NY Cardiologist Settles AKS Claims for $6.5 Million 
September 26, 2023 | Eric Fader | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced on September 18 that cardiologist Klaus Peter Rentrop and his practice, Gramercy Cardiac Diagnostic Services, P.C., agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle allegations that they violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law. Rentrop admitted to paying…
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