No admission of guilt in settlement, says USINPAC chairman.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Engage Medical, Inc., the medical billing firm owned by US-India Political Action Committee Chairman Sanjay Puri, which was fined over a half-million dollars as part of a settlement with the Maryland US Attorney’s office regarding Medicare fraud, last week, released a statement Sunday stating emphatically that “the government agreed in writing that the settlement was not an admission of guilt.”
Puri’s Engage Medical was one of four firms that were ordered to pay over $3 million collectively for charging Medicare fraudulently exorbitant amounts as reimbursement for nuclear stress testing. The statement does not address any of the other three clinics, all of which are based in the Washington, DC-metropolitan area of southern Maryland and northern Virginia, but offers an explanation regarding its part in the scheme.
According to the company, one of its employees was “responsible for a series of unintentional errors in the use of billing codes several years ago.” Engage Medical says that its Medicare fraud was unintentional, and had no malicious intent behind it, adding that the employee in question left the company about three years ago.
Engage Medical also says that it will continue to move forward with offering high-quality healthcare to its patients, and is “glad to have this dispute behind [them].”
The entirety of the press statement can be read below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2014
Statement from Sanjay Puri, Owner of Engage Medical Inc. Regarding Settlement with Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office:
The recent settlement with the U.S Attorney in Baltimore, Maryland concerning Medicare billing for nuclear stress tests by Engage Medical Inc. resolves a dispute from several years ago.
In the resolution agreement, the government agreed in writing that the settlement was not an admission of guilt. The company decided the best course going forward was to settle the case to avoid the time, distraction and expense of continuing to defend the company against claims concerning the interpretation of billing regulations from the time period between 2007 and 2011. Engage Medical has agreed to pay $544,500.
The company did discover one employee who was responsible for a series of unintentional errors in the use of billing codes several years ago. That was a regrettable mistake but not an intentional effort to violate billing regulations. Since that employee left the company approximately three years ago, none of the company’s medical billing has been questioned by the government and employees have completed a course of comprehensive training.
Engage Medical is fully compliant with requirements of the American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. As owner of Engage Medical, I have full confidence that our operational management team continues to operate with the highest standards of business integrity, and we are glad to have this dispute behind us.
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