Youngstown, OH - Circulatory Centers settle whistle blower suit for $1.2 million
By Mike Gauntner, Online Content Manager. Executives of a company that provided treatments for varicose veins at more than two dozen locations including Canfield and Warren have agreed to pay $1,205,000 to settle a false claims suit.According to the U.S. Attorney's office in Pittsburgh, the agreement was reached with Circulatory Centers of America, its subsidiaries, its former owner and chief executive officer Thomas E. Certo, president David Gilpatrick, chief financial officer Everett Burns, and medical director Dr. Louis Certo, M.D.The settlement resolves allegations in a whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2016 in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh against the company, which includes the Circulatory Centers of Ohio.The company operated in several states, also had offices at 6655 Seville Drive in Canfield, and 5000 East Market Street in Warren, according to the complaint.The suit alleges that Circulatory Centers and its officers submitted claims to the Medicare program to receive reimbursement for services that the company claimed had been performed by non-physicians in association with the supervision of a physician. The government said that in reality, no physician was present in the office at the time.Health providers that bill Medicaid for services associated with a physician’s supervision are able to command a higher reimbursement rate than billing those same services without physician supervision.The complaint also alleged that Circulatory Centers submitted claims to the federal government for medically unnecessary and unreasonable ultrasound services performed by technicians who did not have the required license, certification, and/or training; and ultrasound services that were not actually provided."Inflating the cost of health care services defrauds taxpayers and depletes the limited funds available to provide medical care to deserving patients," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "Today’s settlement signals our commitment to aggressively pursue entities and individuals who attempt to cheat American taxpayers."Circulatory Centers filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy one year ago.