Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, and Scott E. Pruitt, Oklahoma Attorney General, jointly announce that the Harmon County Healthcare Authority (Harmon Memorial Hospital) and Dr. Akram R. Abraham, of Hollis, Oklahoma, have agreed to pay $1,550,000 to settle claims of health care fraud of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The United States and State of Oklahoma alleged that from July 1, 2001, through May 30, 2008, both HCHA and Dr. Abraham violated the FCA and the OMFCA by submitting claims, or causing claims to be submitted, to the Medicare and Medicaid programs that violated the federal “Stark” regulations and Anti-Kickback Statute. Specifically, the government alleged that there was a prohibited contractual relationship between HCHA and Dr. Abraham resulting in excessive remuneration which was not commercially reasonable in the absence of health care referrals and that HCHA and Dr. Abraham made false certifications that the Medicare and Medicaid claims they submitted were in compliance with federal and state regulations. The alleged improper remuneration included, but was not limited to, free rent of office space, free billing and staff personnel, reimbursement of uncollected accounts receivable, duplicative per encounter payments for emergency room services, and improper payment of locum tenens physician services. HCHA and Dr. Abraham have each denied liability.
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