A grand jury returned a 115-count criminal indictment against a Memphis, Tenn., physician for allegedly billing Medicare for 100 medically unnecessary sinus surgeries that he did not personally perform. Prosecutors alleged that Rande Lazar had fellow physicians at the Otolaryngology Consultants of Memphis falsify operative notes stating that he performed the sinus surgeries, all on children under 5. At deadline, it was unclear if the allegedly unnecessary surgeries were performed by other physicians. Attempts to reach Lazar were unsuccessful. In other legal news, the orthopedic clinic responsible for treating the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to pay $2.65 million to resolve civil whistleblower charges that it overcharged workers' compensation and government healthcare programs for office procedures and outpatient visits. Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, Los Angeles, settled without admitting wrongdoing. In a news release, Clinic President and Chairman Ralph Gambardella said the allegations were related to technical coding issues and the clinic settled to avoid litigation. The suit was filed by the clinic's former information systems director, Trevor Baylor, who in 2000 successfully sued an emergency physicians' group under the False Claims Act. -- by Mark Taylor
Tenn. doctor, L.A. clinic pursued in fraud cases
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