A plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, his son, several medical practices and a billing company have agreed to pay $23.9 million to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims to both Medicare and Medicaid.
The settlement resolves allegations that Dr. Joel Aronowitz, his medical corporation and his son Daniel Aronowitz falsified the place of service for skin grafts and billed multiple times for single-use skin substitute products.
Tower Multi-Specialty Medical Group, Tower Wound Care Center of Santa Monica, Inc., Tower Outpatient Surgery Center, Inc. and Tower Medical Billing Solutions were all also named as entities that falsified the place of service and fraudulent billing.
“The United States contends that the settling parties manipulated the place of service code on claims for skin grafts to fraudulently maximize reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “The United States further contends that Dr. Aronowitz failed to properly dispose of unused portions of single-use skin grafts and instead used them in later procedures involving other Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, resulting in thousands of instances of double billing.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General has excluded Dr. Aronowitz and Tower Multi-Specialty Medical Group from Medicare, Medicaid and all other federal healthcare programs for 15 years. His son Daniel will be excluded for three years, the DOJ said.
“When health care providers violate federal health care program requirements, they undermine the integrity of these programs and waste taxpayer dollars,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton.
Since Medicaid is funded jointly by the states and the federal government, the state of California will receive approximately $497,619 from the settlement.