A former York County chiropractor faces a federal lawsuit for allegedly causing the submission of thousands of false claims to Medicare.
The civil health care fraud lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Kurt Bauer, 61, of York, the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced.
The lawsuit alleges that Bauer, despite being excluded from participation in Medicare, was a manager and administrator of Leader Heights Healthcare, 2595 S. George St. in York Township. The company provides medical and chiropractic care.
In total, the company received payment on 18,147 claims it submitted to Medicare between June 19, 2008, and Aug. 26, 2013, with the intention that Medicare would reimburse the claims, the lawsuit alleges.
During that period, Leader Heights Healthcare received about $3 million in funds from Medicare, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says that the Pennsylvania Department of State, through the State Board of Chiropractic, revoked Bauer's chiropractor license on Feb. 29, 2008, because it found that he had engaged in sexual activity with a patient.
The Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General on June 19, 2008, excluded Bauer from participation in Medicare, precluding his employment by a health care provider that receives reimbursement from Medicare, the lawsuit says.
Bauer continued to serve as a "de facto executive and administrator" of the company while it submitted Medicare claims, the lawsuit says.
"Bauer's involvement in the Leader Heights business caused the Leader Heights Medicare claims to be false and fraudulent," according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that while he remained involved with Leader Heights Healthcare, he falsely informed Medicare that he had retired and failed to inform the agency of his Medicare exclusion.
Prior to the exclusion, Bauer owned the company, which was formerly named ChiroCare Center, aka ChiroCenter, according to the lawsuit.
The United States suffered damages because of the claims and is therefore entitled to treble damages - to be determined at trial - under the False Claims Act, plus a civil penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 for each false claim submitted, the lawsuit states.
But patients need not worry about being sued: "The suit does not involve the patients or the treatment of the patients," said Amanda Endy, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Leader Heights Healthcare confirmed that the facility is open and taking patients, but it is no longer associated with Bauer.
Bauer's listed number was disconnected, and it's unclear whether he has retained an attorney.
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