California physician convicted in $12M Medicare scam

A federal jury found a California physician guilty Oct. 16 for his role in a $12 million fraud scheme that involved upcoding Medicare claims and reusing contaminated catheters, according to the Department of Justice.

Donald Woo Lee, MD, was found guilty of seven counts of healthcare fraud and one count of adulteration of a medical device.

According to evidence presented during the six-day trial, Dr. Lee recruited Medicare beneficiaries to his clinics, falsely diagnosed them with venous insufficiency and then provided them with medically unnecessary procedures. Dr. Lee submitted claims for the procedures to Medicare using an inappropriate billing code to obtain higher reimbursement, according to the Justice Department.

As part of the scheme, which ran from 2012 to 2015, Dr. Lee also repackaged used, contaminated catheters to reuse on patients. The catheters were cleared by the FDA as single-use only.

Dr. Lee's sentencing is scheduled for March 19.

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