Louisiana physician, medical billing supervisor plead guilty to Medicare fraud

A Louisiana physician and his medical billing supervisor have pleaded guilty to participating in a Medicare fraud scheme, according to the Justice Department.

John Eastham Clark, MD, 66, of Baton Rouge, La., pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Charlene Anita Severio 56, of Walker, La., pleaded guilty Feb. 14 to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud and two counts of healthcare fraud. 

Dr. Clark co-owned and served as medical director of Louisiana Spine & Sports, a Baton Rouge-based pain management clinic. From about June 2005 through March 2015, Dr. Clark,  his billing supervisor Ms. Severio, and others participated in a scheme to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare and other insurers indicating that minor surgical procedures happened on days after office visits, when both occurred on the same day, according to plea documents cited by the Justice Department.

Dr. Clark admitted that the practice was intended to defraud healthcare insurers for nonreimbursable office visits. He said he also falsified records substantiating the fraudulent claims and directed Ms. Severio and others to do the same. Ms. Severio admitted to her involvement.


More articles on legal and regulatory issues:

Georgia hospital enters $5M settlement with feds to resolve false claims case
Ex-pharmacy director pleads guilty to defrauding Nebraska hospital of $4.6M
Specialty pharmacy pays $17M to settle Medicare billing fraud lawsuit

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