The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that Mid-Wilshire-based Nassir Medical Corp. and its owner, Dr. Youram Nassir, have agreed to pay more than $3.35 million to settle federal allegations that they defrauded public healthcare programs by billing for oncology drugs and services that were not actually provided to patients.
Nassir Medical, which does business as Cancer Care Institute, is a hematology and oncology practice specializing in treating cancer patients. Such treatment often requires physicians to prescribe, dispense, infuse and administer a variety of oncology drugs. Medicare and Medi-Cal reimburse physicians both for the cost of drugs themselves and for the cost of infusing and administering those drugs to patients, according to the DOJ.
Between January 2010 and December 2013, Nassir Medical and Nassir allegedly violated the False Claims Act by submitting bogus claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal, according to the settlement agreement.
The defendants allegedly billed public health programs for drugs that were not actually purchased, dispensed or administered, and for infusion services that were not actually provided. The defendants agreed to pay $2.37 million to the United States and $978,900 to California, the DOJ said.
Nassir Medical Corp. and Nassir have also entered into an integrity agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, according to the DOJ.
The settlement resolves allegations originally brought in a lawsuit filed in 2016 by Kenneth Bryan, a retired healthcare consultant and administrator, under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. These provisions permit private parties to sue on behalf of the government for false claims for government funds and to share in any recovery. Bryan will receive more than $475,000 from the federal government as his share of the settlement amount, according to the DOJ.
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