(STL.News) – Owensboro Dr. Kishor N. Vora faces civil False Claims Act allegations for executing an elaborate and extensive scheme to maximize profits at the expense of both patients and Medicare, announced United States Attorney Russell Coleman.
“I know from personal experience that Owensboro is served by a community of dedicated and talented medical practitioners whose sole focus is that of their patients’ care and well-being,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “What will not be tolerated by the United States Attorney’s Office, however, is when that motivation shifts to a physician’s misuse of patients as a tool for financial gain in violation of federal law.”
According to the complaint, Vora knowingly and willfully accepted illegal kickbacks from a laboratory, National Molecular Testing Corporation (NMTC), in exchange for sending Medicare-reimbursed orders for pharmacogenomics testing (tests that show how genes affect a person’s response to particular drugs). The complaint alleges that Vora also ordered and submitted medically unnecessary and unreasonable tests to NMTC in exchange for these illegal kickbacks.
From at least May 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013, Vora and Owensboro Medical Practice PLLC and Owensboro Heart and Vascular knowingly caused the submission of more than $3 million in false claims to Medicare by entering into financial arrangements with the laboratory related to the referral, furnishing and submissions of claims for pharmacogenomics testing; receiving illegal remuneration from the clinical laboratory in exchange for referrals, and causing to be billed to Medicare claims for testing that were not medically necessary.
The United States specifically alleges that the defendants caused false claims to be presented for payment to government health care programs; submitted false statements material to these claims; and conspired with others to present false claims for payment. If found liable for violations of the False Claims Act, the defendants would be responsible for three times the damages to government healthcare programs and civil penalties.
The matter is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica R. C. Malloy with assistance from Cristal Fox, Phil Bezehertny, and Melissa Reynolds. The investigation is being conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General.