In a move demonstrating the government’s continued aim to combat health care fraud through its Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), the Department of Justice announced today that the government has intervened in two qui tam lawsuits against a Florida cardiologist, Dr. Asad Qamar, and his physician group, the Institute for Cardiovascular Excellence PLLC (ICE).
The lawsuits allege that Dr. Qamar and ICE performed excessive and medically unnecessary procedures on Medicare patients. According to one lawsuit, Dr. Qamar had the highest Medicare billings of any cardiologist in the nation in 2012. One of the lawsuits also alleges that Dr. Qamar encouraged patients to undergo medically unnecessary procedures by waiving the twenty percent Medicare copayment, regardless of the patient’s financial status.
The investigation was conducted by the DOJ Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. The government hopes to add to its $14.9 billion recovered since January 2009 in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs.