Whistleblowers win $1.75M in physician's $9.5M Medicare fraud settlement

Minas Kochumian, MD, paid $9.49 million to settle allegations that he submitted false claims to CMS and Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, for procedures and tests that were never performed, the Justice Department said June 10.

Dr. Kochumian admitted he intentionally submitted false claims for payment, the department said. For more than six years, ending in April 2018, he submitted claims for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis medication injections, tailbone cyst drainages, and the removal and destruction of various growths. Those procedures were never performed.

His former medical assistant Elize Oganesyan, and his former informational technology consultant Damon Davies, originally brought the allegations forward under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, the department said. Those provisions allow whistleblowers to receive a share of the recovery amount.

Ms. Oganesyan and Mr. Davies will receive more than $1.75 million as their share of the recovery, the department said.

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