February 07, 2020

DOJ Intervenes in False Claims Act Related to Unnecessary Kidney Stone Procedures in Florida

On January 28, 2020, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced it was intervening in a False Claims Act case against Dr. Patrick T. Hunter, a now-deceased urologist who had practiced in Orlando, Florida, and two corporate entities, Surgical Care Affiliates, Inc. and the Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, LP.  According to the DOJ, Dr. Hunter performed lithotripsy procedures, which uses shockwaves to break up kidney stones, even though no kidney stones were allegedly present in the patients receiving the treatment.  The DOJ alleges that the corporate entities knew the lithotripsy procedures were unnecessary, yet continued to bill Medicare and TRICARE for the facility component of those procedures.  In addition. the DOJ also filed a motion requesting that a personal representative of Dr. Hunter’s estate be substituted for Dr. Hunter as a defendant in the case.