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A Kentucky-based internist has agreed to pay $561,800 to resolve allegations that he knowingly violated the False Claims Act (FCA).

According to federal officials, from November 2017 through August 2020, Patrick C. Finney, MD, of Paducah, Kentucky, long period after depo shot normal conspired and submitted more than $3 million in false claims to Medicare in order to obtain payment from the health insurance program.

Federal officials claim the submissions began after Finney was employed by Barton Associates, a locum tenens physicians staffing firm, where he provided telehealth services to the firm’s clients. In exchange for illegal remuneration from the firm, Finney referred Medicare patients for the furnishing of durable medical equipment and genetic testing items and services when such items and services were not medically necessary.

Federal authorities claim that bills from the alleged services were sent to Medicare as false claims and were “tainted by kickbacks,” yielding profit for Finney. Officials further allege that Finney did not engage in the treatment of Medicare beneficiaries, had no physician-patient relationship with the beneficiaries, often did not speak with the beneficiaries, and knew that his prescribed items and services were not medically necessary.

“This provider leveraged his professional status to pursue illegitimate personal profit, undermining both patient trust and the integrity of federal healthcare programs,” said Tamala E. Miles, special agent in charge with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

By conspiring to defraud Medicare, Finney became liable to the United States for over $11 million under the FCA, which allows damages three times the government’s loss in addition to penalties.

According to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Finney obtained his license to practice in the state in 1999. That license expires in February 2023.

Frankie Rowland is an Atlanta-based freelance writer.

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