WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Jan. 23 that California urologists Dr. Aytac Apaydin and Dr. Stephen Worsham will pay $1.085 million after allegations of submitting false claims to Medicare in violation of the physician self-referral law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.
“Health care laws prevent health care providers, and physicians in particular, from referring Medicare services in exchange for financial incentives,” said Chad A. Readler, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Division in a statement. “The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing those laws and preventing physicians from improperly injecting profit motives into their decisions about patient care.”
According to the Justice Department, the two doctors owned and operated Salinas Valley Urology Associates (SVUA) and Advance Radiation Oncology Center (AROC) in Salinas, California. Apaydin and Worsham solicited eight urologists in the region to enter leases with AROC. Because of the lease agreements, Apaydin and Worsham could allegedly profit from the urologists’ referrals for image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) performed at AROC.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the residents of the district from unlawful financial schemes that compromise patient care,” said acting U.S. attorney Alex G. Tse in a statement. “Patients who use our federal health care programs deserve care that is free from fraud.”
Handling the case for the Justice Department were the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.