United States Attorney John H. Durham, Special Agent in Charge Phillip Coyne of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and Connecticut Attorney General William Tong today announced that DR. BASSAM AWWA and his medical practice, CONNECTICUT BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ASSOCIATES, P.C. (“CBHA”) have entered into a civil settlement agreement with the federal and state governments in which they will pay $3,382,004 to resolve allegations that they violated the federal and state False Claims Acts.
The government alleges that AWWA and CBHA submitted claims to Medicare for multiple units of urine drug screening tests, when they knew or should have known that only one unit of service could be billed per patient encounter. By coding their claims using multiple units, instead of a single unit, the government alleges that AWWA and CBHA submitted false claims to the Medicare program and received payments that they were not entitled to receive.
In addition, the government alleges that AWWA and CBHA submitted claims to Medicare for alcohol tests conducted on patient urine samples that they know or should have known were a component of the urine drug screening test for which AWWA and CBHA were already being paid by Medicare. Finally, the government alleges that AWWA and CBHA defrauded the Connecticut Medicaid program by submitting claims for definitive urine drug tests (also known as “quantitative” or “confirmation” tests) that were not actually performed, and by improperly submitting claims to Medicaid for specimen validity testing of urine samples.
To resolve the governments’ allegations under the federal and state False Claims Acts, AWWA and CBHA have agreed to pay $3,383,004, which covers claims submitted to the Medicare program from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015, and claims submitted to the Medicaid program from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2016.
This matter was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard M. Molot, and Assistant Attorney General Gregory O’Connell of the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General.