Scarbrough and the practice dispute the allegations in the agreement, which stipulates that they don't admit liability by settling.
“Dr. Scarbrough, even today, would love to be able to engage in an argument and a debate about whether the methodology for billing and coding was done correctly,” said his attorney, David Evans. “It becomes an extremely high stakes games to contest these kinds of cases.” Evans said the practice would pay the settlement.
“Please keep in mind that we settled this matter rather than sustain lengthy, costly, complex litigation,” the practice, known as MIMA, said in a written statement. “The government and MIMA have agreed to a cash settlement and procedural clarifications. The understanding is that we still have deep disagreements about allegations made by the government.”
As part of the alleged scheme, Scarbrough developed templates and protocols intended to hide fraudulent billing strategies, and the practice allowed them to continue even as independent auditors and the practice's billing and coding employees cited them as problematic, according to the complaint.
In one example, Scarbrough is said to have developed a system using handheld devices to “create the illusion” of real-time physician supervision during image-guided radiation therapy, writing in an e-mail that it was necessary in case “Medicare walks into our office.”
Investigators concluded from records of the wireless carrier for the devices that Scarbrough could not possibly have received the images that the center's Medicare claims indicated he was reviewing.
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