California physician sentenced for defrauding Medicare, repackaging & reusing catheters

A California physician was sentenced to 93 months in prison April 28 after being convicted of a $12 million Medicare fraud scheme and reusing single-use catheters on patients.   

Donald Woo Lee, 55, MD, recruited Medicare beneficiaries to his clinics, where he falsely diagnosed them and provided them medically unnecessary procedures, according to a Justice Department news release. Dr. Lee billed the unnecessary procedures to Medicare after upcoding them to receive higher reimbursements. He also repacked used, contaminated catheters for reuse on patients. 

Dr. Lee submitted about $12 million to Medicare for the vein ablation procedures he performed and received $4.5 million as a result, according to the news release.   

He was convicted in October 2019 on seven counts of healthcare fraud and one count of adulteration of a medical device. He pleaded guilty in March 2020 to one count of submitting false declarations in a bankruptcy proceeding.   

Dr. Lee was ordered to pay more than $4.5 million in restitution to Medicare. 

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