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Doctor Sued for Submitting False Claims to Medicare



Doctor Robert M. Ritchea has been sued for submitting false claims to Medicare.  Dr. Ritchea administered sometimes unnecessary pain injections that were then improperly billed to Medicare.  He allowed an unlicensed medical assistant to perform the injections, which the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners does not allow. The doctor has admitted that the injections were not only unnecessary but also over-prescribed and over-used.   Dr. Ritchea is also being charged for billing Medicare for more expensive procedures than were performed and for services that were not reimbursable.  In total it is estimated that Dr. Ritchea over-billed Medicare for more than $2.2 million in more than 4,300 claims.  If Ritchea is found guilty the government is entitled to $5,500-$11,000 per claim.

According to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Sally Quillian Yates, “‘This lawsuit shows what happens when a doctor puts money before the health and safety of his patients. The complaint alleges not only that Dr. Ritchie allowed an unlicensed medical assistant to inject patients with pain medications, but also that he improperly billed Medicare for the treatments. We are committed to ending this kind of Medicare fraud.’”

For more information or to contact U.S. attorney Yates, see the article listed under “Source” below.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation Atlanta. Department of Justice Press Release. “Complaint Filed Against Robert M. Ritchea, M.D. for Submitting Over $2.2 Million in False Claims to Medicare.” 2 August 2010.



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