Kentucky pain physician to pay $567K for role in kickback scheme

Ariana Portalatin -

A Kentucky physician must pay more than $567,000 in restitution for his involvement in a referral kickback scheme, according to a Nov. 23 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

John Baird, MD, 55, specialized in physical medicine, rehabilitation and pain treatment at his practice in Louisville, Ky. In 2018, he admitted to entering a kickback scheme with Williams Hughes, the owner and operator of Universal Oral Fluid Labs, a former clinical drug testing lab in Greensburg, Pa. Baird received money in exchange for referring patients to the lab for services. He received $567,609 in kickbacks from the lab for his referrals between May 2012 and July 2013.

Hughes then submitted claims to and received reimbursements from Medicare for patients who received lab services and referred by Dr. Baird. In July, Hughes was sentenced to 60 days incarceration, 12 months of home detention and must pay a $5,000 fine. He must also forfeit more than $750,000 in previously seized assets and pay $1.6 million in restitution to the Kentucky Medicaid program.

Dr. Baird was sentenced to five years probation, two of which include home detention, and was ordered to pay the $567,609 to Medicare.

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