Physical Therapy Company to Pay $400,000 for False Claims Act Violation Allegations

A physical therapy company in Colorado Springs agreed to pay $400,000 to settle allegations it falsely billed federal healthcare programs for aquatic therapy services in violation of the False Claims Act.

The company, Dynamic Physical Therapy, LLC, and its owner Emad Yassa, operated two locations in Colorado Springs, and billed federal healthcare programs for physical and aquatic therapy services. 

A former employee filed a civil whistleblower lawsuit in 2019, alleging Yassa directed the company to bill Medicare for medically unnecessary and unprovided services. Following the whistleblower complaint, Yassa admitted in a “Stipulation and Final Board Order” with the State of Colorado’s Physical Therapy Board, that from 2014 to 2017 he “routinely and improperly billed insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid for individual aquatic therapy sessions” when the patient completed group therapy and routinely neglected to document group aquatic therapy sessions in patient records.

A U.S. investigation discovered evidence Dynamic Physical Therapy, LLC also submitted false claims to TRICARE that physical therapy services were completed by an authorized provider, when they were actually provided by an unauthorized assistant.  

According to a press release, the resolution in the case was a result of coordinated work from several offices including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI. 

“We will aggressively pursue any kind of health care provider who relies on fraud to obtain payments from our federal healthcare programs,” U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan said in the press release. “We also appreciate the efforts of whistleblowers who bring fraudulent billing practices to light.”

According to the press release, the claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and liability hasn’t been determined. 

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