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Ophthalmology Practice Settles Kickback Allegations for Over $2.9M

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.

“The Eastern District of Texas is committed to looking beyond labels and examining providers’ actual conduct. Although co-management can be a legitimate practice, merely applying that label does not give providers carte blanche to remunerate referring providers in order to secure business,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “We are committed to investigating any financial incentives offered to secure referrals, which cloud providers’ medical judgement, and violate the Anti-Kickback Statute.”

“Paying kickbacks to providers incentivizes doctors to treat patients based on illegitimate financial gain, rather than the patient’s needs and best interests,” said Korby Harshaw, acting Special Agent in Charge with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG will not tolerate kickback arrangements, which undermine medical responsibility, put patients at risk, and can waste taxpayer dollars.”


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