Doctor’s office tied to $67M healthcare fraud case

Special report: Homegrown fraud task forces promote collaboration
An investigation into the TRICARE fraud case has resulted in legal action in San Diego.

A medical practice in Tennessee and a pharmacy in Utah are both implicated in a $67 million healthcare fraud investigation.

The alleged kickback scheme involved Marines in the San Diego, California, area who were used to defraud TRICARE, the military’s health insurance provider, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.  

The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made, the newspaper said. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a complaint last week as part of a civil asset forfeiture case against a Tennessee couple, who own the medical practice, Choice MD, in Cleveland, Tennessee.

RELATED: Compound pharmacies under fire

The San Diego-based investigation is part of a national investigation into fraudulent prescriptions of compound medications, which have led to arrests across the country and changed how TRICARE bills for compound drugs, the newspaper said.

TRICARE beneficiaries were recruited to use their prescription benefits to buy compound drugs for what turned out to be a sham drug study.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office are trying to seize properties bought by the medical practice owners, Jimmy and Ashley Collins, in a civil action. The vast majority of the prescriptions were authorized by emergency room physicians who were medical directors at the practice, according to court documents.