Kentucky

Kentucky addiction doctor agrees to pay $1.4 million over alleged fraudulent billing

Patients can help stop Medicare fraud with these steps

Here are important steps patients can take to prevent fraudulent or mistaken billing and other problems, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Fraud costs patients in the long run.
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Here are important steps patients can take to prevent fraudulent or mistaken billing and other problems, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Fraud costs patients in the long run.

An Ashland doctor and her clinic have agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle accusations they defrauded Medicare and Medicaid and provided prescriptions for an addiction-treatment drug to too many patients.

Dr. Rose Uradu and her clinic, Ultimate Treatment Center, entered into the agreement with the federal government.

Federal authorities alleged in a civil complaint that in 2014, Uradu wrote prescriptions for as many as 294 people a month for a drug called buprenorphine at a time when she was limited to 100 patients a month.

The drug, marketed under the names Suboxone and Subutex, is used in treating people for addiction to drugs called opioids, such as OxyContin.

The law limits how many buprenorphine patients a doctor can see because much of the drug ends up diverted to illegal sales.

The government’s complaint also alleged that Uradu’s clinic, located in Ashland, billed taxpayer-funded health programs for providing services that it didn’t really provide.

Those included evaluating and management services such as conducting a physical examination, taking information on a patient’s history and making medical decisions.

The complaint said nurses that handed out doses of methadone, another addiction-treatment drug, sometimes saw 250 to 300 patients a day, spending an average of less than two minutes with each.

The clinic allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for spending longer periods with patients and providing evaluation and management services.

The center allegedly copied notes in patients’ records from one visit to another, sometimes over months.

The complaint cited one example in which the clinic listed identical symptoms and observations for a patient on all 92 visits during a three-month period in 2013.

The records said Uradu provided the listed services to the patient, but she didn’t, according to the government’s complaint.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit investigated the case.

Authorities audited prescriptions issued by Uradu and filled at pharmacies in Kentucky and Ohio.

U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan’s office announced the settlement Friday.

The settlement did not include a finding of wrongdoing.

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