Texas physician sentenced to decade in prison for role in $10M scheme

A Fort Worth, Texas, physician who fraudulently billed insurers was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a $10 million healthcare fraud, the U.S. Justice Department announced Feb. 25. 

Mark Kuper, DO, owner of the Texas Center for Orthopedic and Spinal Disorders, was sentenced about six months after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. He admitted to fraudulently billing insurers for services the clinic never provided and requiring patients to attend bogus appointments for physical therapy and psychotherapy to receive controlled substance prescriptions. 

On several occasions, Dr. Kuper billed as though he had provided more than 100 hours of work in a 24-hour period. He admitted to conspiring with his wife, Melissa Kuper, and a physical therapist, Travis Couey, to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. 

Dr. Kuper tried to cover up evidence of fraud by altering treatment notes in patient health records, and his wife attempted to destroy clinic documents in an outdoor fireplace at their home as the scheme began to unravel. The blaze destroyed the residence, but firefighters recovered some of the charred records, according to the Justice Department. 

Ms. Kuper and Mr. Couey pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. They were sentenced to 18 months and 36 months in prison, respectively. 

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