K14 scammer settles with feds

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Monday, July 5, 2004

July 6, 2004

PHILADELPHIA –  The former COO and compliance officer of Inglis Durable Medical Equipment company in Bristol agreed to pay back more than $300,000 after the U.S. Attorney’s office here charged him with a bait-and-switch power wheelchair scheme.
The feds say that from April 1998 until October 3, 2003 Scott D. Katherine was billing Medicare Program and other third party payors for K0014s but delivering K0011s.
Katherine was also accused of billing for power tilt and recline seating systems, power elevated leg rests, and seat cushion enhancements that were never provided, passing off used wheelchairs as new and forging CMNs.
"Vulnerable adults, including those suffering from ALS disease, were deprived of medical equipment that was ordered by their physician," said U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan. "While appearing to only involve a financial fraud, the conduct exhibited in this case compromised the entire system in which medical equipment is ordered and obtained at the patients' expense."
The civil false claims act settlement with IDME, a wholly owned subsidiary of Inglis Foundation, includes the payment of $335,849 to the government. Additionally, IDME has agreed to reimburse private insurers and patients (co-payments) for improper billings made by Katherine and received by IDME. Finally, IDME has entered into a 3-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the DHHS-OIG.
"IDME did not have sufficient safeguards to ensure that this type of billing fraud could occur. However, the company should be commended for its cooperation in this matter and its desire to make the government, the private insurers and the patients financially whole," Meehan said.

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