Owensboro doctor Kishor N. Vora is facing civil Federal Civil False Claims Act allegations, as announced Thursday morning by United States Attorney Russell Coleman.
According to the complaint, Vora knowingly and willfully accepted illegal kickbacks from a laboratory — National Molecular Testing Corporation (NMTC) — in exchange for sending Medicare-reimbursed orders for pharmacogenomics testing. The complaint alleges Vora also ordered and submitted medically unnecessary and unreasonable tests to NMTC in exchange for these illegal kickbacks.
“I know from personal experience that Owensboro is served by a community of dedicated and talented medical practitioners whose sole focus is that of their patients’ care and well-being,” Coleman said in a release. “What will not be tolerated by the United States Attorney’s Office, however, is when that motivation shifts to a physician’s misuse of patients as a tool for financial gain in violation of federal law.”
The complaint alleges from at least May 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, Vora and Owensboro Medical Practice as well as Owensboro Heart and Vascular knowingly submitted more than $3 million in false claims to Medicare.
The United States specifically alleges that the defendants caused false claims to be presented for payment to government health care programs, submitted false statements material to these claims, and conspired with others to present false claims for payment.
Michael Merrick, Vora’s attorney, said Vora strongly denies these allegations and will rigorously defend himself.
If found liable for violations of the False Claims Act, the defendants would be responsible for three times the damages to government healthcare programs and civil penalties.
The matter is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica R. C. Malloy with assistance from Cristal Fox, Phil Bezehertny, and Melissa Reynolds. The investigation is being conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General.