Surgeons who overbilled Medicare penalized

Four Eugene surgeons are receiving penalties of $10,000 and community service for alleged fraud in Medicare billing.

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A long-running case involving Eugene surgeons and Medicare billing practices has finally closed.

The surgeons settled with the federal government two years ago, but an investigation by the Oregon Medical Board came to a  conclusion last week.

The federal government alleged the doctors overbilled the federal health insurance programs by $1.25 million from 1993 to 2004 through the use of assistant surgeons. Investigators concluded that the doctors and their practice submitted bills for the services of assistant surgeons regardless of whether the assistant surgeon provided any help to the primary surgeon during an operation or was even present during the surgery.

In their settlement in 2007 with federal authorities, the surgeons admitted no wrongdoing and denied the government’s claims. They agreed to the settlement, Robbins said at the time, only in order to avoid the greater expense of defending themselves against the government’s claims.

Read more at the Register Guard.

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