Business, Health

Maryland medical equipment company settles fraud allegations for $352,800

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BALTIMORE, MD—A durable medical equipment company with offices in Baltimore County and one of its owners have agreed to pay $352,800 to settle allegations that they defrauded a federal health program intended to help government employees with medical expenses.

The settlement resolves claims of billing fraud filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland. Federal officials alleged that Comfort Care Medical Equipment, Inc. and Patrick Chalmers, one of its owners, violated the federal False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Prosecutors say that Comfort Care billed almost all compression stockings, including arms, legs and bras, using the HCPCS Code A6459, which is not permitted for billing if there is no other HCPCS code available.

The HCPCS Code A6459 was used to bill federal health plans that were administered by Care First. Under the contract between Comfort Care and Care First, the company could bill those federal health plans for any amount for a compression garment and then be reimbursed at 65% of that amount.

“Federal contractors are required to bill the appropriate code for services rendered, not the code that puts the most money in their pockets,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners are committed to ferreting out unlawful compliance with government contracts.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that the civil settlement resolves the allegations against Comfort Care Medical Equipment and Patrick Chalmers, but it is not an admission of liability on their part.

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

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