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Doctor's Choice To Pay $1.4M Settlement

Jul 22, 2004 | Tampa Bay Business Journal

Doctor's Choice Medical Equipment of Largo Inc. agreed to pay $1.38 million to settle fraudulent billing allegations, according to Florida Attorney General Charlie Christ.

Christ said the company was accused of double-billing and submitting false claims for medical equipment sales to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Christ said an investigation by his office showed the alleged fraudulent billing occurred from January 1994 to December 1998.

Doctor's Choice was sold to new owners in 1999, who discovered some of the improper billing and reported it to the government. An employee also disclosed certain other improprieties and as a whistleblower, she will receive a share of the settlement, the attorney general said.

The U.S. Attorney's office recovered more than $608,000 for the Medicare program, while the state of Florida will receive more than $777,000 from the settlement. About $383,000 will be returned to the Medicaid program, and $54,000 will be paid to the whistleblower. The rest will be paid to state and federal authorities as a penalty, the attorney general said.

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