TAMPA — Dr. Steven Chun, a physician who practiced in Sarasota and Bradenton from 2006 to 2011, has agreed to pay $750,000 to resolve allegations that he fraudulently billed Medicare.
The U.S. Attorney's office for the Middle District of Florida sued Chun under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, according to a release. The allegations raised in the suit, from two nurses who worked for Chun, were that the physician and his clinic billed Medicare for office visits he did not perform. The clinic operated under the name Sarasota Pain Associates, first in Sarasota and later in Bradenton.
Chun, according to the U.S. Attorney's office, billed “Medicare for office visits at the highest levels possible, falsely claiming to have conducted comprehensive examinations of patients with complex problems.” But those patients, authorities contend, visited Sarasota Pain Associates for scheduled procedures for which Chun was paid.
“This settlement is a significant achievement by our civil division, which showed great determination in pursuing a troubling pattern of billing fraud,” U.S. Attorney for the Middle District A. Lee Bentley III says in a release. “This case should send a message that we will not tolerate this kind of health care fraud in the Middle District of Florida.”
In addition to the $750,000 payment, Chun will enter into a three-year Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General. The agreement, the release states, requires Chun to attend training courses provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It also requires him to conduct an independent external review of his coding, billing and claims submission to federal health care programs.