North Carolina physician assistant indicted in $10M Medicare fraud scheme

A physician assistant from Monroe, N.C., was indicted July 20 on federal charges in a genetic testing scheme involving $10 million in fraudulent Medicare claims. 

Colby Joyner, 34, allegedly submitted the false claims in 2018 and 2019 while working as an independent contractor for a physician staffing and telemedicine company, the U.S. Justice Department said July 20. In that time frame, Mr. Joyner allegedly signed fraudulent prescriptions for medically unnecessary cancer genomic and pharmacogenetic testing for hundreds of North Carolina Medicare beneficiaries. 

Mr. Joyner never met, saw or treated those beneficiaries and at most had brief telephone conversations with them, the Justice Department alleges. He also falsified medical records to conceal that he was not the treating physician, did not conduct medical evaluations or examinations, and falsely certified that  genetic tests were medically necessary, the Justice Department charges. 

The unnamed telemedicine company gave Mr. Joyner pre-populated prescription forms and related records for patients who were pre-selected for genetic testing, and Mr. Joyner electronically signed and returned those in exchange for $12 — and later $15 — for each consultation he performed, it is alleged. 

He faces up to 40 years in prison.

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