The Department of Justice (DOJ) Thursday announced that it charged an Ashland doctor for allegedly scamming more than $40 million from the Medicare system.
“John R. Manning, 61, faces charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and eight counts of health care fraud,” according to the DOJ. “The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation in which the United States seeks to recover all property, including a money judgement, that represents the proceeds of the violations. Manning was arrested Tuesday at his home by federal agents.”
The sophisticated scheme allegedly involved Manning, who worked with telemedicine companies, teaming up with physicians to prescribe certain medical equipment, topical creams, and Cancer Genomic (CGx) testing for those who use Medicare.
But Manning and his co-conspirators, who were not named by the DOJ, were not acting in good faith when seeking the prescriptions.
Instead, they received bribes and kickbacks in exchange for the signed doctors’ orders and prescriptions. According to the DOJ, they were also “submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for such services and treatments that were not medically necessary and not eligible for reimbursement.”
“The indictment further alleges that Manning electronically signed doctors’ orders without having established a patient/doctor relationship as required, and issued orders and prescriptions based on only a brief telephonic conversation, or often no conversation at all, and without seeing or physically examining the patient, and without regard for medical necessity,” the DOJ said. “The indictment also alleges that the telemedicine companies paid Manning a fee ‘per visit,’ constituting illegal kickbacks and bribes in exchange for signing doctors’ orders and prescriptions.”
Manning faces 90 years in prison for his alleged role in the scheme, 10 years per charge in the indictment.
The case was – and is currently being – investigated by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Medicare fraud totals $65 billion annually in the United States, according to ClearMatch.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Doctor” by Gustavo Fring. Background Photo “U.S. Department of Justice” by Coolcaesar. CC BY-SA 3.0.