EYE SURGERY CENTER PAYS U.S. AND WEST VIRGINIA

EYE SURGERY CENTER PAYS U.S. AND WEST VIRGINIA

FOR FILING FALSE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE CLAIMS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Anwar Eye Center, Inc., an ambulatory

surgical center specializing in cataract removal surgery and lens

implants, has agreed to pay $240,000 to the United States and the

State of West Virginia to settle allegations that the center

submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of

Defense TRICARE Program, the Department of Justice announced today.

The government alleged that from 1993 to 1996 the Moundsville,

West Virginia center allowed an individual who lacked proper

certification to administer anesthesia prior to cataract surgery. It

was also alleged that employees were directed to falsify records to

indicate that a person with proper credentials had performed the

procedure.

“This settlement represents our continued efforts to ensure

that beneficiaries of federal health benefit programs receive care

that complies with federal and state standards,” said David W. Ogden,

Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.

Today’s settlement resolves a civil suit that originally was

filed by Margaret Kaufman, a private individual who filed the case in

federal district court under the provisions of the False Claims Act’s

qui tam or whistleblower provisions. Ms. Kaufman will receive a

share of the settlement.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Anwar Eye Center

entered into a three-year corporate integrity agreement with the

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector

General, to settle administrative claims. The settlement concludes an

investigation undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s

Clarksville, West Virginia field office, the U.S. Department of

Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s Pittsburgh Resident

Agency Office, the State of West Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control

Unit, and the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.