A former Houston physician convicted of bilking Medicare by "unbundling" payments for varicose-vein surgeries received a prison term of nearly six years and a restitution order for $3.8 million.
Texas doc faces prison, fine for Medicare fraud
Armando Chavez, 42, voluntarily surrendered his physicians license following the initiation of the investigation into his billing practices between 2005 and 2007, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson's office.
Chavez pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy and three counts of mail fraud, admitting that he directed his staff to submit fraudulently inflated bills by separating individual procedures within a single laser-ablation surgery rather than submitting bundled reports on overall procedures.
The news release from Magidson's office said a typical bundled payment for one varicose-vein procedure would have been around $6,000, but the office could earn about $14,000 by submitting separate bills to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies.
On Monday U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced Chavez to 70 months in prison on the mail-fraud charges and 60 months, to be served concurrently, for the conspiracy charge.
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