Spinal Decompression Clinic of Texas (“SDCT”) has agreed to pay $330,898.00 to resolve liability under the False Claims Act for the alleged improper billing of electro-acupuncture device neurostimulators.
SDCT received reimbursement from Medicare in the amount of $177,051.15 for these procedures. SDCT, however, did not perform these surgeries, and instead applied P-Stim devices in an office setting, without surgery or anesthesia. P-Stim is an electric acupuncture device that, pursuant to manufacturer’s instructions, is affixed behind a patient’s ear using an adhesive. Needles are inserted into the patient’s ear and affixed using another adhesive. Once activated, the device then provides intermittent stimulation by electrical pulses. It is a single use, battery-powered device designed to be worn for approximately four days until its battery runs out, at which time the device is thrown away.
Medicare does not reimburse for acupuncture or for acupuncture devices such as P-Stim, nor does Medicare reimburse for P-Stim as a neurostimulator or as implantation of neurostimulator electrodes.