Florida physician convicted of 162 counts of healthcare fraud

A physician from Gainesville, Fla., has been convicted of 162 counts of healthcare fraud for allegedly engaging in a series of false billing schemes, according to the Department of Justice.

Ona M. Colasante, MD, owned and operated Hawthorne (Fla.) Medical Center between 1998 and 2009, and Colasante Clinic in Gainesville between 2010 and 2013. According to evidence presented at trial, Dr. Colasante and her employees ordered non-FDA approved drugs at a reduced price and administered them to patients. Dr. Colasante allegedly fraudulently billed insurance companies for the cost of FDA-approved drugs.

Through her businesses, Dr. Colasante also billed insurers for medically unnecessary tests, counseling, treatment and training that was never performed. She also submitted false diagnosis codes in support of her fraudulent claims for reimbursement, according to the DOJ.

Dr. Colasante's sentencing is scheduled for July 25. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

Physician charged with stealing $177k worth of medical equipment from NorthShore
LifePoint faces another lawsuit over improper heart procedures
Michigan urgent care physician faces multiple felonies for improper billing

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