(STL.News) – A 54-year-old anesthesiologist from Katy has paid $100,000 to resolve allegations that he falsely billed Medicare for the use of acupuncture devices, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
From Nov. 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, Dr. Jaime Robledo billed Medicare for the implantation of neurostimulator electrodes – a surgical procedure that usually requires use of an operating room. Medicare pays thousands of dollars for this procedure.
However, Robledo did not perform these surgeries. Instead, he applied a device used for electro-acupuncture. This procedure involves inserting needles into patients’ ears with the neurostimulator taped behind them with an adhesive.
Medicare does not reimburse for electro-acupuncture devices as implantable neurostimulators.
“To maintain the trust of beneficiaries in their care, it is imperative that medical professionals bill accurately for the services provided,” said Special Agent in Charge Miranda Bennett of the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (DHHS-OIG). “We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who seek to enrich themselves by submitting false claims to federal health programs.”
DHHS-OIG and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted the investigation with the assistance of Qlarant, the Unified Program Integrity Contractor for Medicare. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Gray handled the matter.