Physician assistant found guilty in $10M Medicare fraud scheme

A physician assistant from Monroe, N.C., was found guilty for his role in a genetic testing scheme involving $10 million in fraudulent Medicare claims. 

A federal jury found Colby Joyner, 35, guilty of one count of healthcare fraud and six counts of making false statements relating to healthcare matters, according to a June 13 Justice Department news release. 

Mr. Joyner submitted the false claims in 2018 and 2019 while working as an independent contractor for a physician staffing and telemedicine company, according to the release. He signed fraudulent prescriptions for medically unnecessary cancer genomic and pharmacogenetic testing for hundreds of North Carolina Medicare beneficiaries. The 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. 

Medicare paid out more than $3.6 million of the fraudulent claims, according to the release. 

Mr. Joyner faces up to 40 years in prison.  

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