Physical therapy pays Uncle Sam $710,000 in Medicare fraud case

An outpatient physical therapy practice in Delaware has agreed to pay $710,000 to resolve allegations that it was improperly billing Medicare for physical therapy services.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Delaware accused Old Towne Physical Therapy LP of health care fraud under the federal False Claims Act.

Federal prosecutors claimed Old Towne, which owns three clinics in Lewes, Millsboro and Milford, was submitting claims for Medicare for physical therapy services performed at the clinics without the adequate supervision of a Medicare-enrolled physical therapists from Aug. 1, 2007 to Nov. 13, 2009.

This was a violation of Medicare rules, they said.

The settlement, announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III, resolved those allegations.

As part of the settlement, Old Towne and its parent company, U.S. Physical Therapy Inc., entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General. The agreement places certain conditions on providers, in exchange for not being excluded from participation in Medicare, Medicaid or other federal health care programs.

“The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware is to committed to ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries receive the quality health care they deserve, and that the government gets what it pays for,” Oberly wrote in a statement. “When providers cut corners by failing to ensure that procedures are adequately supervised, it cheats both the patients and the government.”