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Ophthalmology Practice Agrees to Pay Over $2.9 Million to Settle Kickback Allegations

From the Eastern District of Texas:

Ophthalmology provider group, Arlington Ophthalmology Association, P.L.L.C. d/b/a Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers (“K&E”), with offices located in Arlington, Dallas, Plano, Southlake, Mount Pleasant, and Gun Barrel City, Texas, has agreed to pay $2,902,505 to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it offered and paid kickbacks to optometrists to induce referrals of patients who were candidates for cataract surgery in in violation of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute, announced Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.

This is a great example of how business practices common in other industries do not work in healthcare. Even if Medicare was not involved, Texas’ Patient Solicitation Act prohibits “offering to pay or agreeing to accept anything of value to secure or solicit a patient or patronage for or from a licensed professional.” It is called an “All-Payor” statute, meaning a violation is not limited to referrals for services paid by government health programs