FORT MYERS — Urologist David Spellberg has agreed to pay $1.05 million to settle allegations of ordering unnecessary laboratory tests that were reimbursed by federal health care programs.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office, Spellberg worked for Naples Urology Associates, which was a division of 21st Century Oncology, a cancer-treatment company based in Fort Myers.
Spellberg became an employee of 21st Century in January 2010 and began referring bladder cancer tests to a laboratory owned by 21st Century. Medicare doesn't consider such a test necessary unless it's used to monitor for tumor reoccurrence of if the doctor suspects bladder cancer. The settlement resolves allegations that Spellberg submitted medically unnecessary bladder cancer tests to Medicare and Tricare, two federal medical insurance programs.
“We intend to hold those accountable who intentionally use fraudulent practices to make a profit at others' expense,” says U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley, III, in a statement. “False claims such as these impact the solvency of our public healthcare programs and erode the confidence of those being serviced by that care.”
In December, 21st Century agreed to pay nearly $20 million to settle allegations it billed federal health programs for tests that weren't medically necessary. You can read more about that settlement by clicking here.