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Physician agrees to pay $150,000 to feds in kickback, fraudulent billing settlement

November 9, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Dr. Dominick Piacente, a New York family physician, has agreed to pay the federal government $150,000 to resolve civil allegations that he paid kickbacks and caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare in connection with care that he purportedly provided to residents of adult homes.

Seth D. DuCharme, acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which is based in Brooklyn, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the assistant director-in-charge of the New York Office of the FBI, announced the settlement.

DuCharme thanked the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, for its assistance in the investigation.

“Patients requiring the care of adult home service providers deserve to have the benefit of Medicare, and to be treated as people, not commodities. Doctors who bilk our federal healthcare programs, in the guise of caring for disabled and elderly patients, will be held accountable for their actions,” he said.

Adult homes are privately-owned residential facilities licensed by the State of New York to provide long-term care and supervision to adults with disabilities or mental illnesses.

An investigation by the FBI revealed that from October 2015 through April 2016, Dr. Piacente, whose main office is located in New Rochelle, paid medical management companies in adult homes to induce the companies to allow him to receive payment from Medicare for services that he did not actually provide to residents. The settlement resolves potential claims that Piacente’s alleged conduct violated the False Claims Act.

The government’s case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Kutlin of the Office’s Civil Division.

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