In Ocala Florida Doctor Asad Qamar will pay $2,000,000, and admit his claim to another $5,000,000 in suspended Medicare funds is fraudulent. This, in order to terminate a federal lawsuit regarding unlawful Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE billing for medically unnecessary procedures, as well as kickbacks to patients by waiving Medicare copayments, the Justice Department announced in June. Qamar is also banned from participating in any federal healthcare program for at least 3 years.
“Today’s settlement evidences the Department of Justice’s firm commitment to protect public funds and to safeguard the well-being of federal health care program beneficiaries.”
“Doctor Qamar performed an unusually high number of procedures on vessels outside the heart. According to records, a patient who actually needed treatment for a blockage in her heart had a stent put in one leg and was scheduled for a similar procedure in the other leg. She never made it to her appointment for the second stent. She died from complications directly related to the first stent.” (the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services case report)
The settlement resolves the U.S. government’s lawsuit claiming that Doctor Qamar billed Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE for excessive, unnecessary and inadequately documented heart-related procedures. Many of the cardiovascular procedures for which Qamar billed Medicare and the other insurers, were not indicated by patients’ medical histories or records, or the severity of the patients’ symptoms.
The government also learned that to facilitate this false billing scheme, Qamar routinely waived the 20% Medicare copayment. Medicare copayments assure that patients have an incentive to be smart and avoid unnecessary procedures. By waiving the required copayments, Doctor Qamar induced patients to agree to unnecessary and invasive procedures. Qamar’s illegal conduct made him the highest paid Medicare cardiologist in the U.S in 2012 and 2013.
“Patient safety is of paramount importance. When a doctor performs medically unnecessary and invasive procedures on Medicare patients, federal healthcare programs are defrauded and, more importantly, patients’ lives and wellbeing are recklessly put at risk. This case shows our office’s steadfast commitment to holding medical providers personally responsible for their actions.” (U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley, Middle District of Florida)
The charges were originally raised in two lawsuits filed pursuant by “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private parties to sue on behalf of the government when they discover evidence that defendants have submitted false claims. The False Claims Act permits the government to intervene in such lawsuits, as it has done in these cases.
This case illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating healthcare fraud. Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered $30,000,000,000 through False Claims Act cases.
This case was handled by the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and the Defense Health Agency on behalf of the TRICARE program.
Here’s another look:
Asad Qamar is a Pakistani immigrant who graduated from Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan. He then came to the United States and – as so many immigrant physicians do – began taking advantage of the U.S. extremely porous healthcare money-making machine. Cutting patients open for fun was icing on the cake. He is the pluperfect example of a ‘Third World Assassin’ that America so goofily allows. Had he not gotten so greedy, Qamar would likely never have been caught.
Any chance you’re wondering whether this creep will end up in prison for cutting people open for fun and profit? Not likely. Any chance he’ll be deported?
Not even a small chance. The U.S. government doesn’t deport bad alien doctors. It encourages them to keep on keepin’ on.