Ten additional Texas doctors and a healthcare executive have agreed to pay a total of $1,680,430.

When you go to your Doctor, you hope that they are recommending treatments based on science and their research but unfortunately some doctors are basing their treatments on how much money they can make from "kickbacks" from the drug companies and others. More than a dozen Texas doctors are facing those kind of allegations and they are agreeing to pay back big dollars they may or may not have received.

A Total of Eighteen Texas Doctors Have Settled Related Healthcare Fraud Allegations.

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According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the money these doctors are paying is to resolve False Claims Act allegations involving illegal kickbacks in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law.

What Is The Anti-Kickback Statute And Stark Law?

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The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and other federally funded programs. The Stark Law forbids a hospital or laboratory from billing Medicare for certain services referred by physicians that have a financial relationship with the hospital or laboratory. The Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law are intended to ensure that medical providers’ judgments are not compromised by improper financial incentives and are instead based on the best interests of their patients.

The settlements resolve allegations that ten Texas doctors violated the Anti-Kickback Statute.

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According to the report, the doctors alleged to have received thousands of dollars in remuneration from eight management service organizations (MSOs) in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from Rockdale Hospital d/b/a Little River Healthcare (Little River), True Health Diagnostics LLC (True Health), and/or Boston Heart Diagnostics Corporation (Boston Heart). Little River allegedly funded the remuneration to certain doctors, in the form of volume-based commissions paid to independent contractor recruiters, who used MSOs to pay numerous doctors for their referrals. The MSO payments to the doctors were allegedly disguised as investment returns but in fact were based on, and offered in exchange for, the doctors’ referrals.

Who Are The Ten Doctors That Settled?

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The doctors who settled these allegations have also agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice’s investigations of and litigation against other parties involved in the alleged violations of law.

  • Tamar Brionez, M.D., of Spring, Texas, agreed to pay $85,006 to settle allegations that from March 14, 2016 to March 16, 2017 she received kickbacks from an MSO, Tomball Medical Management, Inc., in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from Little River.
  • Gary Goff, M.D., of Dallas, Texas, and two affiliated entities, Gary Goff, MD, PA and DFW Primary Medical Alliance, LLC, agreed to pay $454,088 to settle allegations that from August 5, 2015 to September 7, 2018 he and his entities received kickbacks from two MSOs, Alpha Rise Health, LLC and HALOS Clinical Management, LLC, in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from True Health and Little River.
  • John Hierholzer, M.D., of San Antonio, Texas, agreed to pay $24,850 to settle allegations that from May 18, 2015 to February 12, 2016, he received kickbacks from an MSO, Alpha Rise Health, LLC, in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from Boston Heart and Little River.
  • Bruce Maniet, D.O., of Bells, Texas, agreed to pay $175,436 to settle allegations that from January 18, 2016 to October 23, 2017 he received kickbacks from two MSOs, Ascend MSO of TX, LLC and Herculis MG LLC, in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from Boston Heart and Little River.
  • Huy Chi Nguyen, M.D., of Arlington, Texas, agreed to pay $211,821 to settle allegations that from October 30, 2015 to December 31, 2017 he received kickbacks from (a) one MSO, Ascend MSO of TX, LLC, in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from True Health and Little River; and (b) another MSO, Geminorium MG LLC, in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from Boston Heart.
  • Dung Chi Nguyen, M.D., of Arlington, Texas, agreed to pay $211,721 to settle allegations that from November 4, 2015 to December 31, 2017 he received kickbacks from (a) one MSO, Ascend MSO of TX, LLC, in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from True Health and Little River; and (b) another MSO, Geminorium MG LLC, in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from Boston Heart.
  • Rakesh Patel, D.O., of Houston, Texas, agreed to pay $174,539 to settle allegations that from August 25, 2015 to April 19, 2017 he received kickbacks from an MSO, SYNRG Partners LLC, in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from True Health and Little River.
  • Cuong Trinh, M.D., of Houston, Texas, agreed to pay $45,056 to settle allegations that from July 28, 2015 to August 30, 2016 she received kickbacks from an MSO, SYNRG Partners LLC, in exchange for ordering Boston Heart laboratory tests from Little River.
  • Randall Walker, M.D., of Magnolia, Texas, agreed to pay $60,898 to settle allegations that from November 7, 2014 to August 28, 2015 he received kickbacks from two MSOs, North Houston MSO Group, Inc. and Tomball Medical Management, Inc., in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from Little River.
  • Michael Whiteley, D.O., of Tomball, Texas, agreed to pay $52,015 to settle allegations that from January 5, 2015 to July 10, 2015 he received kickbacks from two MSOs, North Houston MSO Group, Inc. and Tomball Medical Management, Inc., in exchange for ordering laboratory tests from Little River.

The United States has recovered over $29.6 million relating to conduct involving Boston Heart, True Health, and Little River, including False Claims Act settlements with seventeen physicians, two healthcare executives, and one laboratory.

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