Former chiropractor to pay $30,000 in false claims suit
A former York County chiropractor will pay about $30,000 over the next five years as part of an agreement reached Wednesday with the U.S. government in a civil suit filed against him alleging false Medicare claims.
The suit, filed in August 2014, alleged that despite being excluded from participation in Medicare, Kurt Bauer, 62, 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 alleged.
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 said.
Bauer continued to serve as a "de facto executive and administrator" of the company while it submitted Medicare claims, the lawsuit said.
"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.
The United States suffered damages because of the claims and was therefore entitled to treble damages under the False Claims Act, plus a civil penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 for each false claim submitted, the lawsuit states.
In addition to paying $30,000 to the government over the course of five years, the consent decree Bauer signed states that he will consent to a renewed exclusion from federal health care programs for the next 25 years and make bi-annual certifications to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the next five years, under penalty of perjury, saying that he is complying with his renewed exclusion and the pertinent guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Bauer's listed phone number was disconnected; Leader Heights Healthcare confirmed that he is no longer involved with the company.
— Reach Julia Scheib at email@example.com.