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Home

 

Chapter 1: Forward: Babylonian Talmudic Hatred of Humans -- Are You a Victim of the Worship of Molech

 

 

Chapter 2: Come and Hear:  America’s New Government Church – Death for Christians

 

 

Chapter 3: Come and Hear: Sex with Children by Talmud Rules

 

 

Chapter 4: Come and Hear: Human Sacrifice, the Talmud, and the Moloch Problem

 

 

Chapter 5: United States v. Uzamere

 

Chapter 6: Uzamere v. Various Ashkenazi Leaders and Ashkenazi Judaism as a Hate Group

 

Chapter 7: Chapters of the Original Website

 

Chapter 8: Once Upon a Time

 

Chapter 9: Victim's Statement

 

Chapter 10: My Search for Justice

 

Chapter 11: Descent into Hell

 

Chapter 12: U.S. Laws Violated by Senator Uzamere

 

 

Chapter 13: Nigerian Laws Violated by Senator Uzamere

 

 

Chapter 14: Ignored by Federal Agencies

 

Chapter 15: Ignored by Nigerian Authorities

 

Chapter 16: Victims' Loss of Child Support

 

Chapter 17: The Uzamere Family

 

Chapter 18: Municipal Employees Who Helped Senator Uzamere

 

Chapter 19: John Gray and Non-Profit Legal Community

 

Chapter 20: Hall of Shame

 

Chapter 21: 1st Judicial Blow by African-American Judge Thomas

 

Chapter 22: Law Firm of Allen E. Kaye

 

Chapter 23: Too Many Discrepancies...

 

Chapter 24: Allen E. Kaye And His Diabolical Talmud-Following Minions

 

Chapter 25: Will Sampson Staff Refuse to Help Identity Fraud Victims?

 

Chapter 26:  Law Office of Gladstein and Messinger

 

Chapter 27: Patrick Synmoie's Attempts to Hide

 

Chapter 28: Consulate General of Nigeria

 

Chapter 29: Strange Chat with Senator Ekweremadu

 

Chapter 30: Proof of Legal Marriage

 

Chapter 31: Proof of Illegal Marriage/Identity Fraud

 

Chapter 32: Senator Uzamere's Attempts to Hide Crimes Will Fail

 

Chapter 33: The Proof...

 

Chapter 34: Success -- The Proof Is Finally Here!

 

Chapter 35: Will Senator Uzamere Evade Child Support Again?

 

Chapter 36: Nigeria's New Commitment to Protect Child Abandoned by Sen. Uzamere

 

Chapter 37: Judge Prus -- What Gives?

 

Chapter 38: Back on Track!

 

Chapter 39: Eugene Uzamere -- Third Attorney to Break the Law

 

Chapter 40: Petitioner's Verified Petition

 

Chapter 41: Supplemental Verified Petition

 

Chapter 42: Judge Prus Recuses Himself

 

Chapter 43: Eugene's Failed Attempt to Thwart Justice

 

Chapter 44: Kate Ezomo -- Diabolical Liar

 

Chapter 45: Letters of Complaint Against Kate Ezomo

 

Chapter 46: My Factual Response to Imaginary Cousin Godwin

 

Chapter 47: Federal Action Against Defendant Dismissed

 

Chapter 48: Open Letters to the FBI

 

Chapter 49: Open Letter to All U.S. Judges

 

Chapter 50: Open Letter to Ehigie and Eugene

 

Chapter 51: Tara's Affidavit

 

Chapter 52: $100,000,000.00 Lawsuit Against Corrupt Fiduciaries

 

Chapter 53: Will Fiduciaries Settle?

 

Chapter 54: New York City Defrauds Disabled Schvartze

 

Chapter 55: There Is No Cousin Godwin!

 

Chapter 56: Warning Letter to Governor and Chief Justice of New York State

 

Chapter 57: Deprived of Child Support by Allen Kaye

 

Chapter 58: Can International Agency Help?

 

Chapter 59: Chief Judge Wood's Court

 

Chapter 60: Will NYS' Dept. Disc. Committee and Commission on Judicial Conduct Be Corrupted?

 

Chapter 61: Subpoena Planned for Judge Garaufis

 

Chapter 62: No Negotiations for Justice...Justice is Owed!

 

Chapter 63: Will Attorneys Sign Affirmation?

 

Chapter 64: Am I Finally Being Taken Seriously?

 

Chapter 65: Evidentiary Hearing is Scheduled!

 

Chapter 66: Amy Feinstein Refuses to Prosecute!

 

Chapter 67: Robert Juceam's Useless Excuses

 

Chapter 68: No Justice -- No Peace!

 

Chapter 69: Happy Birthday My Beautiful Angel

 

Chapter 70: Are You a Victim of a Green Card Marriage Scam?

 

Chapter 71: End Green Card Marriage Sponsorship

 

Chapter 72: How to Report an Immigration Scammer and the Attorney

 

Chapter 73: Is the End Finally in Sight?

 

Chapter 74: Will Appellate Division Justices Decide Fairly?

 

Chapter 75: What Will NYSCJC's Response Be?

 

Chapter 76: How Will NYSDDC Respond?

 

Chapter 77: Will Obama's Administration Coerce Helpless Schvartze's Silence

 

Chapter 78: Will U.S. Department of State's Secretary Rise to The Challenge?

 

Chapter 79: Eugene Uzamere Calls It Quits

 

Chapter 80: Bigot Judge Sunshine Continues Courtroom Corruption

 

Chapter 81: Schvartze's Complaints Still Ignored by Appellate Division's White Judiciary

 

Chapter 82: More Talmudic Bias and Anti-Schvartze Racism At SDNY

 

Chapter 83: Senator Uzamere...You Are the Husband!

 

Chapter 84: Will U.S. Solicitor General Office Look on Idly?

 

Chapter 85: What will SCOTUS Do?

 

Chapter 86: Why did they disobey?

 

Chapter 87: Cabranes' Fraud Upon the Court

 

Chapter 88: Is Hinds-Radix Their 'Secret' Weapon?

 

Chapter 89: New York State Lawsuit for Fraud

 

Chapter 90: Judge Sunshine Is a Loser

 

Chapter 91: Judge Sunshine Out of Options

 

Chapter 92: Petitioner Prepares Request for Rehearing

 

Chapter 93: Petition for Rehearing

 

Chapter 94: Loser Sunshine's Last Hurrah

 

Chapter 95: Lawsuit Against Daily News and Scott Shifrel

 

Chapter 96: Mort Zuckerman's Bigoted Tabloid

 

Chapter 97: Corruption at Nassau County Supreme Court and Nassau County Clerk

 

Chapter 98: Judge Scuccimarra Ruling

 

Chapter 99: Defendants Have Defaulted

 

Chapter 100: Judge Parga Accepts Anne Carroll's Drivel

 

Chapter 101: New York Daily News and Anne B. Carroll

 

Chapter 102: Lawsuit Against President

 

Chapter 103: Will Obama Listen?

 

Chapter 104: Open Letter to Al Jazeera, President Obama and Judge Allegra

 

Chapter 105: More Court Shenanigans

 

Chapter 106: Molech-Fomented Anti-Black Racism at Howard University

 

Chapter 107:  Into the fire...

 

Chapter 108: What Will The New York State Division of Human Rights Do?

 

Chapter 109: Housing Court Corruption

 

Chapter 110: Mayor Bloomberg's Finest

 

Chapter 111: FEGS in Criminal Conspiracy

 

Chapter 112: FEGS Gave Victim No Choice

 

Chapter 113: What Will The New York State Supreme Court Do?

 

Chapter 114: What Will Court of Claims Do?

 

Chapter 115: Molech-Worshipers’ Abuse of Religion Not New

 

Chapter 116: How Wicked Are They?

 

Chapter 117: What a Bunch of Lies

 

Chapter 118: Federal Lawsuit

 

Chapter 119: Disastrous Results to Appeal

 

Chapter 120: Judge Garaufis' Discriminatory Decision

 

Chapter 121: Garaufis' Talmudic Shenanigans

 

Chapter 122: FOIA Hiding Evidence

 

Chapter 123: Congressional Testimony

 

Chapter 124: Unintelligible Complaint of Rachel G. Yohalem

 

Chapter 125: Uzamere v. USA

 

Chapter 126: Judicial Whores Willy and Patty

 

Chapter 127: Find an Unbiased Court

 

Chapter 128: U.S. Government Blacklists Own Citizens

 

Chapter 129: Appellate Brief First Circuit

 

Chapter 130: U.S. Government Hides Prosecution

 

Chapter 131: A Molech-Fomented RICO

 

Chapter 132: Molech-Fomented Doctrine -- Law of the Moser

 

Chapter 133: Will African American Victim of Grand Larceny Receive Justice?

 

Chapter 134: Judicial Ethics Hypocrite

 

Chapter 135: Molech-Fomented Shenanigans Involved in Random Selection of Morally Compromised Judge

 

 

Chapter 136: Please save my family!

 

Chapter 137: Psychopathic Defendants

 

Chapter 138: Molech-Fomented Paradigm Puts Molech Worshipers in Positions of Power

 

 

Chapter 139: Pretender Bharara

 

Chapter 140: International Lawsuit against Israel, the United States and Nigeria

 

 

Chapter 141: A Real Man

 

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THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE WORSHIP OF MOLECH AND DSM V’s DIAGNOSIS OF SEXUAL SADISM

 

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses; Sexual Sadism Disorder Diagnostic Criteria 302.84 (F65.52)

 

Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent and intense sexual arousal from the physical or psychological suffering of another person, as manifested by fantasies, urges, or behaviors.

 

The individual has acted on these sexual urges with a nonconsenting person, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

 

Diagnostic Features

 

The diagnostic criteria for sexual sadism disorder are intended to apply both to individuals who freely admit to having such paraphilic interests and to those who deny any sexual interest in the physical or psychological suffering of another individual despite substantial objective evidence to the contrary.

 

. . .Examples of individuals who deny any interest in the physical or psychological suffering of another individual include individuals known to have inflicted pain or suffering on multiple victims on separate occasions but who deny any urges or fantasies about such sexual behavior and who may further claim that known episodes of sexual assault were either unintentional or nonsexual. Others may admit past episodes of sexual behavior involving the infliction of pain or suffering on a nonconsenting individual but do not report any significant or sustained sexual interest in the physical or psychological suffering of another individual. Since these individuals deny having urges or fantasies involving sexual arousal to pain and suffering, it follows that they would also deny feeling subjectively distressed or socially impaired by such impulses. Such individuals may be diagnosed with sexual sadism disorder despite their negative self-report. Their recurrent behavior constitutes clinical support for the presence of the paraphilia of sexual sadism (by satisfying Criterion A) and simultaneously demonstrates that their paraphilically motivated behavior is causing clinically significant distress, harm, or risk of harm to others (satisfying Criterion B).

 

"Recurrent" sexual sadism involving nonconsenting others (i.e., multiple victims, each on a separate occasion) may, as general rule, be interpreted as three or more victims on separate occasions. Fewer victims can be interpreted as satisfying this criterion, if there are multiple instances of infliction of pain and suffering to the same victim, or if there is corroborating evidence of a strong or preferential interest in pain and suffering involving multiple victims. Note that multiple victims, as suggested earlier, are a sufficient but not a necessary condition for diagnosis, as the criteria may be met if the individual acknowledges intense sadistic sexual interest.

 

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What the Babylonian Talmud says about the worship of Molech: Mishnah. He who gives of his seed to Molech incurs no punishment unless he delivers it to Molech and causes it to pass through the fire. If he gave it to Molech but did not cause it to pass through the fire, or the reverse, he incurs no penalty, unless he does both.

 

Gemara. The Mishnah teaches idolatry and giving to Molech. R(abbi) Abin said: Our Mishnah is in accordance with the view that Molech worship is not idolatry.

 

Informing on Fellow Jews who Commit Crimes:

Mesira in Modern Times

(Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Abodah Zarah, Folio 26b)

 

Rabbi Michael J. Broyde*

The S. Daniel Abraham &

Ira L. Rennert Torah Ethics Project

The Orthodox Caucus

Toronto, Canada

Netivot HaTorah Day School

October 19, 2001, at 8:00 p.m.

 

Even though Jewish law expects people to observe the laws of the land, and even imposes that obligation as a religious duty, the Talmud recounts - in a number of places - that it is prohibited to inform on Jews to the secular government, even when their conduct is a violation of secular law and even when their conduct is a violation of Jewish law...Even is secular government...incorporate(s) substantive Jewish law into secular law and punish violations of what is, in effect, Jewish law, Jews would still be prohibited from cooperating with such a system. Indeed, classical Jewish law treats a person who frequently informs on others as a pursuer (a rodef) who may be killed to prevent him from informing, even without a formal court ruling.

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The Harold Wallace Rosenthal Interview 1976 audiobook murdered 30 days after this interview (click on video to hear Youtube interview). In this video, Mr. Rosenthal talked about the Ashkenazi Jewish plan to take over the United States and the world.

Menachem Begin

Ovadia Yusef

Talmud -- Kill the best of the goyim

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The Lost Item of a Gentile: “If his intention is that he, and not the faith or Israel, should be praised, or because he loves the Gentile and has mercy on him, it is forbidden [to return the Gentile’s lost item]”)

 

Rabbis Say It’s OK to Kill Goyim: This is not science fiction people. This is not said by some anti-Semitic KKK or Neo-Nazis these are Rabbis saying it’s OK to kill non-Jews including children. I have found most of the most damning information about Jewish crimes comes from Jewish sources not so called anti-Semitic.

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http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/america_2.html

 

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Paul Bonacci was one of many children who were taken from Nebraska’s Boys Town foster care/adoption network, brought to the White House and savagely raped. In this video, Mr. Bonacci describes being taken from the White House with Nicholas and an unnamed boy. Paul and Nicholas were forced to rape the boy at gunpoint by the person who filmed the event. Later the unnamed child was sodomized by the person making the video until his anus bled, kicked repeatedly in the head and then shot to death – all after being raped in the White House by Ashkenazi/Jewish and non-Ashkenazi/Jewish politicians and corporate leaders. Also see https://youtu.be/8b61iIQCapY.

 

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Editor’s Note:  Donald Gregg, National Security Advisor to George H.W. Bush was tasked with silencing those involved.  He turned to the CIA.   The Franklin Scandal was only one aspect of a much larger “call boy” operation moving children and teenagers, picked up from Boys Town, Catholic orphanages and off the streets, and housed in Washington and New York primarily.

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http://come-and-hear.com/editor/br_3.html

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Click on the two photos above to see video.

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White Gentiles Women

Beautiful White Ladies Who Are Victims of Rape in Israel

Angelique Sabag Gautiller -- Israel's first female pimp

White Slave Trade

Israel’s first female pimp, Angelique Sabag Gautiller, Israel's first female pimp and one of many whore houses in Tel Aviv, Israel that Israeli pimps use to force beautiful, delicate White ladies from Russia and Slavic countries who have been tricked and lured with promises of respectable jobs in Israel and then forced to part with their virginity and gang raped every night by sexually perverted Israeli and Arab men.

Sex bar in the old central bus station area, Tel Aviv
These streets are crowded with sex bars, sex shops and sex parlors.

The old central bus station area, Tel Aviv, on the street with the most sex parlors.
Sometimes it's surprising to see who the customers are.

The old central bus station area (also called Neveh Sha'anan) is the red light district of Tel Aviv. Over the years, it became mostly populated with foreign and illegal workers. Several suicide bombing attacks have been carried out here during the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. In the present, it is the worst place in Tel Aviv, a world of prostitution and drugs, with a high crime rate.
Who can rent here a cheap appartment or open up a shop, is considered lucky, since so many people sleep on the streets or in deserted buildings. They have no other place to go to.

At

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Ira, 23 - Her mother left Russia after the divorce, together with her two daughters, hoping for a better life in Israel. Ira started to take drugs, her mother gave up on her and doesn't let her in the house anymore, scared that her other daughter will take Ira's example. She lives now on the street and works as a prostitute. After a two-day-storm and heavy rain when she slept on the streets, despite all the hot tea and blankets, she was shivering the whole day at the shelter for prostitutes.

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Jasmin waiting for clients on a Friday night.

 

·         How 11 New York City Babies Contracted Herpes Through - Health;

·         Baby Dies of Herpes Virus in Ritual Circumcision in NYC Orthodox ...;

·         Herpes cases among babies linked to ultra-Orthodox Jewish;

·         NYC, Orthodox Jews in talks over ritual after herpes cases - USA Today;

·         11 Babies Infected with Herpes in New York - Sandra Rose;

·         CDC: 11 infants contracted herpes due to controversial Jewish ...;

·         New York Baby Infected with Herpes After Metzitza B'peh;

·         New case of neonatal herpes caused by Jewish ... - New York Post;

·         Orthodox Rabbis Fight NYC's Effort to Warn Parents About Herpes ...

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Jewish Wisdom: What is a Goy?

 

Talmudic Jews 'Non-Jews Goyim Are Beasts to

Serve Us as Slaves'

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One of his Assembly colleagues calls the apology "a beginning" but inadequate.

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Yair Netanyahu’s Night of Debauchery Revealed in Bombshell Recordings: Younger Netanyahu heard asking his friend, a gas tycoon's son, for NIS 400 for strippers, saying he owed him for $20 billion deal advanced by PM (click on photo to hear Yair audiotape)

 

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“Rachel” (Vicki Polin) on Oprah Winfrey Show Discussing “Rachel’s” Ashkenazi Jewish Parents Introducing Her to Ashkenazi Jewish Ritual Murder and Rape of Children (click on photo to see Youtube video).

peckjewishslaves-tsr1_

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The Ashkenazi Jewish Slave Trade was not primarily for cheap labor. The race of the victims was used as an excuse to cover the real goal. The real reason for Ashkenazi-influenced enslavement of Africans (and all other people since) is demonic torture, sex and murder. The Babylonian Talmud advocates what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Illnesses, Volume 5 describes as sexual sadism. Unless it is forcibly stopped, this group of people (including non-Ashkenazi members who have aligned themselves with Molech-worshiping members of the Ashkenazim) will not stop torturing, raping and killing. Like the demons who possess them, they are sex addicts. Without Jehovah-approved force, they will not stop. They will continue to use politics, race, financial issues and other irrelevant issues in the same manner that all junkies use excuses to hide their addiction. There are no political, religious, social or other irrelevant issues. They are snuff addicts. Unless they are stopped, they will continue to try to satiate an insatiable appetite for torture, deviant sex and murder – a parasitic appetite that, if left unchecked, will be the undoing of the entire human race. They are snuff addicts. Nothing more – nothing less.

Jew whipping slave[6]

Ashkenazi sexual sadist achieving climax by using a whip to rape a helpless human being to death.

Jews controlled African slavery

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https://youtu.be/Mg_13WJ4gDo;

https://youtu.be/MtKBjPxGmyc

Jewish control over American slavery #2

JOWERS, FEDERAL AGENCIES FOUND LIABLE IN MURDERING DR. KING

Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, III, Bernice King, Dexter Scott King and Yolanda King, Plaintiffs, v. T.D. Loyd Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators, Defendants.

 

Slave  Sale by Levin

The Ringworm Children- dealings between the US and Israeli_Nazi governments

The Ringworm Children

Tzila Levine and the Ashkenazi who took her

Yemeni child stolen and given to Ashkenazi woman

Tziona Heiman and her biological Yemeni mother

Adult child with biological mother

Israel's Yemeni Baby Scandal

The Lavon Affair

Lavon Affair # 4

Deaths at U.S.S. Liberty

 

Injuries at U.S.S. Liberty

liberty_Main_Blast_Area

U.S.S. Liberty Attacks America

U.S.S. Liberty Gravesites

USS Liberty Crew

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Israel Abuses Thai Workers

Thai workers in Israel

Israeli False Flag on France #2

Israeli False Flag on France #3

Israeli False Flag on France #4

MH17 -- Israel False Flag

Israel Celebrates Successful 9/11 Operation on Purim Holiday (click on photo to read article)

 

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Israeli schoolchildren dressed up as the burning

Twin Towers. Costume won best prize.

 

Countries that lost citizens on 9/11:

http://brilliantmaps.com/9-11-victims;

 

Israel Did 9/11; Dr. Alan Sabrosky (click on photo

to see Youtube video)

 

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9/11 Alleged Hijackers Alive and Well (click on

photo to see Youtube video)

 

WTC Destruction of Building

WTC Falling Death4

WTC Falling Death2[3]

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WTC Falling Death

WTC dead hand

Palestinians Killed and Scorned by Jews

Dead Palestinian Children

Palestinian Girl's Brains Blown Out

Palestinian child with guts blown out

Palestinian Princess 3

Palestinian Victime of Jew Kidney Grubbing

Israelis using pepper spray against Palestinians

Ethiopian Women and Depo Provera

Haaretz Story of Ethiopian Women Given Depo Provera

Mike Peled

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Israel-Islamic State Trafficking in Body Parts

From Israel with Kidney

Israeli Kidney Network Busted in Ukraine

Israel Kidney Scandal in UkraineScreen-shot-2012-03-18-at-12.56.25-PM

Israel Steals Kidneys from HaitiEthiopians Go Back to Africa
Baltimore Is Here
Israelizing the Police


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Amadou Diallo -- 41 Shots

Freddie Gray

Freddie Gray dragged (2)

Freddie Gray in Hospital

funeral-freddie-gray

Sean Bell 50 Shots

Sean Bell Funeral

Rodney King and Police Assault

Eric Garner Alive with Daughter

Eric Garner Chokehold

Eric Garner Dead

Eric Garner Funeral

NYC Settles Garner Death for 5.9 Million

State Trooper who saw Tawana

Nurse who interviewed Tawana

Tawana Brawley in Hospital

Tawana Crying

C._Vernon_Mason (2)

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The Crimes of Senator Ehigie Edobor Uzamere

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“Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.”

שְׁמַע,יִשְׂרָאֵל: יְהוָהאֱלֹהֵינוּ,יְהוָהאֶחָד

 

            “Jehovah went on speaking to Moses, saying: “…’Any man of Israel and any foreigner who resides in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech should be put to death without fail…I myself will set my face against that man, and I will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech and has defiled my holy place and has profaned my holy name. If the people of the land should deliberately close their eyes to what that man does when he gives his offspring to Molech and they do not put him to death, then I myself will certainly set my face against that man and his family. I will cut off that man from his people along with all who join him in prostituting themselves to Molech.

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Description generated with very high confidenceRabbi Moses Maimonides (RamBam), Guide to the Perplexed: “[T]he Negroes found in the remote South, and those who resemble them from among them that are with us in these climes. The status of those is like that of irrational animals. To my mind they do not have the rank of men but have among the beings a rank lower than the rank of man but higher than the rank of apes. For they have the external shape and lineaments of a man and a faculty of discernment that is superior to that of the apes.

 

 

 

Artsot Ha-Hayyim: In 1992 a book was published by a leading member of the Satmar community entitled Artsot Ha-Hayyim. On p. 52 he explains, and quotes other rabbis, that the reason Abraham Lincoln was killed was because he freed the blacks. this is also the reason why Kennedy was killed, i.e. because he was good to the blacks. He continues by saying that this will be the fate of any who adopt a progressive attitude towards blacks, because they are meant to be enslaved. His source for this is Ham's curse.

Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, Folio p. 745, 108b: "Our Rabbis taught: Three copulated in the ark, and they were all punished - the dog, the raven and Ham. The dog was doomed to be tied, the raven expectorates [his seed into his mate's mouth], and Ham was smitten in his skin." (This is footnoted, and the footnote reads: "I.e., from him was descended Cush (the negro), who is black-skinned."

 

 

 

Midrash Rabbah (Soncino) Vol. 1, p. 293: "AND HE SAID: CURSED BE CANAAN (Breishit 9:25): (Commentary omitted) ...R. Huna also said in R. Joseph's name: You [i.e. Noah is speaking to Ham) have prevented me from doing something in the dark [i.e. cohabiting with his wife], therefore your seed will be ugly and dark-skinned. R. Chiyya said: Ham and the dog copulated in the Ark, therefore Ham came forth black-skinned while the dog publicly exposed its copulation."

Legends of the Jews; The Curse of Drunkenness: The descendants of Ham through Canaan therefore have red eyes, because Ham looked upon the nakedness of his father; they have misshapen lips, because Ham spoke with his lips to his brothers about the unseemly condition of his father; they have twisted curly hair… The last will and testament of Canaan addressed to his children read as follows: "Speak not the truth; hold not yourselves aloof from theft; lead a dissolute life; hate your master with an exceeding great hate; and love one another."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHERYL D. UZAMERE

APPEARING PRO SE

Cheryl D. Uzamere

1209 Loring Avenue,

Apt. 6B

Brooklyn, NY 11208

Tel.: (718) 827-2652

Fax: (303) 942-4403

E-mail: cuzamere@netzero.net 

 

 

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

 

 

 

 

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE

MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA

__________________________________

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. :

STATE OF GEORGIA ex rel. ::

RICHARD BARKER., :

:

Plaintiffs : Civil Action No. 4-12-cv-108(CDL)

:

v. : FILED UNDER SEAL

: pursuant to

COLUMBUS REGIONAL HEALTHCARE : 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq.

SYSTEM, THE MEDICAL CENTER, :

JOHN B. AMOS CANCER CENTER, :

REGIONAL ONCOLOGY, LLC., :

THOMAS J. TIDWELL, and :

COLUMBUS RADIATION ONCOLOGY :

TREATMENT CENTER :

:

Defendants. :

____________________________________:

AMENDED COMPLAINT

Relator-Plaintiff Richard Barker, by and through undersigned counsel,

brings this False Claims Act Complaint, on behalf of the United States of

America and the State of Georgia, against Defendants Columbus Regional

Healthcare System (“CRHS”), The Medical Center (“TMC”), the John B. Amos

Cancer Center (“JBACC”), Regional Oncology, LLC (“RO”), Thomas J.

Tidwell, and Columbus Radiation Oncology Treatment Center (“CROTC”)

(collectively “the Defendants”). This action is brought by plaintiff to recover

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civil penalties and treble damages under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31

U.S.C. §§ 3729-33 and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act (the

“GAFMCA”), GA. CODE ANN. § 49-4-168.1.

INTRODUCTION

1. This is an action to recover treble damages and civil penalties on behalf

of the United States of America and the State of Georgia arising from false and/or

fraudulent statements, records and claims made, or caused to be made, by the

Defendants and/or their agents and employees.

2. This qui tam case is brought against the Defendants for submitting

and/or causing the submission of false claims by knowingly submitting

reimbursement claims to Medicare, 42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq., Medicaid, 42 U.S.C.

§ 1396 et seq., TRICARE/CHAMPUS 10 U.S.C. § 1071 et seq., and Federal

Employee Health Benefits Program, 5 U.S.C. §§ 8901, et seq. (hereinafter

collectively referred to as “Federal Healthcare Programs”) for medically

unnecessary office visits.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

3. This action arises under the False Claims Act, as amended, 31 U.S.C.

§§ 3729-3733. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant

to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and subject matter jurisdiction under the federal False Claims

Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3732, including state law claims under 31 U.S.C. § 3732(b). This

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court also has supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims pursuant to 28

U.S.C. § 1367.

4. Venue lies in this district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) & (c) and 31

U.S.C. § 3732(a) because the Defendants transact business and have committed

acts in violation of 31 U.S.C. § 3729 in this district.

THE PARTIES

5. Relator-Plaintiff Richard Barker (“Relator”) is an adult citizen and

resident of the State of Georgia. Relator has been, since September 26, 2011,

Administrative Director of the JBACC. In that position, Mr. Barker oversees dayto-

day operations of the medical and radiation oncology, integrative medicine,

pharmacy, front office and business offices services and facilities. Mr. Barker has

twenty years experience in oncology medicine practice administration, including

extensive experience with billing and reimbursement. In his prior position, with

Cancer Care Partners in Mishawaka, Indiana, he served as the compliance officer

for the practice, managed all quality assurance and performance improvement

projects and was responsible for the entire billing process. Mr. Barker has been

periodically trained and updated on proper billing procedures, and regularly

reviews Medicare and Medicaid bulletins. Mr. Barker has independent knowledge

of all of the allegations against the Defendant and is the original source of the

allegations contained in this Complaint. Before filing this Amended Complaint,

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Mr. Barker made a disclosure of all material evidence and information in his

possession to the Government as required by 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2).

6. Defendant CRHS is a non-profit, health care system serving

communities in Alabama and Georgia. CRHS owns two acute care hospitals, both

located within Columbus, Georgia, The Medical Center (“TMC”) and the Doctor’s

Hospital, which is not a defendant in this action. CRHS’s corporate office and

principal place of business is located at 707 Center Street, Columbus, Georgia.

7. TMC is an acute care hospital with its principal place of business at

710 Center Street, Columbus, Georgia.

8. The John B. Amos Cancer Center (“JBACC”) is a division of TMC,

but is physically separate from TMC. JBACC facilities are located at 1831 5th

Avenue, Columbus, Georgia.

9. Columbus Regional Oncology Treatment Center is a wholly owned

subsidiary of CRHS with its principal place of business at 2121-B Warm Springs

Road, Columbus, Georgia 31904.

10. All of the medical oncologists employed by and providing services at

JBACC are employed by Regional Oncology, LLC (“RO”). RO has its principal

place of business at 1831 5th Avenue, Columbus, Georgia.

11. Thomas J. Tidwell, M.D. is the former owner of Tidwell Cancer

Treatment Center (“TCTC”). He retired from the practice of radiation oncology in

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December, 2012. In July, 2010, Dr. Tidwell sold his practice TCTC to CRHS. He

continued to practice there until his retirement in 2012. Dr. Tidwell resides at 312

Cascade Court, Columbus, Georgia 31904.

STATUTORY AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

I. The Federal False Claims Act

12. The False Claims Act provides that any person who knowingly

presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or

approval, or who knowingly makes, uses or causes to be made or used, a false

record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim to the Government is

liable for damages in the amount of three (3) times the amount of loss the

Government sustained and penalties which range between $5,500 and $11,000 per

claim. 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a); 28 C.F.R. § 85.3. For purposes of the FCA, “the

terms ‘knowing’ and ‘knowingly’ mean that a person, . . . (1) has actual knowledge

of the information; (2) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the

information; or (3) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the

information.” Id. at § (b). “[N]o proof of specific intent to defraud is required” for

a successful claim under the FCA. Id.

II. The Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act

13. The GAFMCA provides that any person who knowingly makes or

causes to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact for use in

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determining right to a payment from the Georgia Medicaid Program is liable for a

civil penalty of between five thousand five hundred dollars ($5,500) and eleven

thousand dollars ($11,000) for each violation, plus three (3) times the amount of all

payments judicially found to have been fraudulently received from Medicaid, or its

fiscal agents because of the act of that person. GA. CODE. ANN. § 49-4-168.1. The

GAFMCA defines "knowingly" to mean that a person "has actual knowledge of the

information or acts in deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard of the truth or

falsity of the information." GA. CODE. ANN. § 49-4-168.

III. Federal Healthcare Programs

A. Medicare

14. Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1395 et seq.

establishes the Health Insurance for the Aged and Disabled Program, more

popularly known as the Medicare program. The Medicare program is a federally

operated and funded program. It is administered by the Secretary of Health and

Human Services (“HHS”) through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

(“CMS”), a department of HHS.

15. The Medicare program is comprised of four parts, but only Medicare

Parts A and B are relevant in this action. Part B is a federally subsidized,

voluntary insurance program that covers a percentage (typically eighty percent) of

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the fee schedule amount of physician and laboratory services. 42 U.S.C. §§ 1395k,

1395l, 1395x(s).

16. To participate in Medicare, providers must certify that their services

are provided economically and only when, and to the extent medically required, or

that the services are “reasonable and necessary,” as required by statute. 42 U.S.C.

§ 1395n; 42 U.S.C. § 1395y(a)(1)(A). A service is expressly excluded from

coverage if it is “not reasonable and necessary” for “the diagnosis or treatment of

illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member.” 42

C.F.R. § 411.15(k)(1). In other words, it is an express condition of payment that

the treatment sought under Medicare must be medically necessary. Id.; 42 C.F.R.

§ 411.15 (delineating “[p]articular services excluded from coverage”); id. at §

411.1(b)(1) (stating that “[t]his subpart identifies: (1) The particular types of

services that are excluded” from coverage); see also 42 C.F.R. Subpart 411 (titled

“Exclusions From Medicare and Limitations on Medicare Payment”).

B. Medicaid

17. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health care

benefits for certain groups; primarily the poor and disabled. Each state administers

its own Medicaid program, under federal regulations that generally govern what

services should be provided, under what conditions. CMS monitors the state-run

programs and establishes requirements for service delivery, quality, funding, and

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eligibility standards. The federal government provides a portion of each state’s

Medicaid funding. The portion provided is known as the Federal Medical

Assistance Percentage (“FMAP”) and is based on the state’s per capita income

compared to the national average. 42 U.S.C. § 1396d(b). In Georgia, the rate in

effect from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012 is 66 %.

18. Like Medicare, a “claim” under Medicaid is only reimbursable if it is

“reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to

improve the functioning of a malformed body member”. 42 C.F.R. § 402.3.

C. TRICARE/CHAMPUS.

19. In 1967, the Department of Defense created the Civilian Health and

Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (“CHAMPUS”), which is a federally

funded medical program created by Congress. 10 U.S.C. § 1071. CHAMPUS

beneficiaries include active military personnel, retired personnel, and dependents

of both active and retired personnel. Id.

20. In 1995, the Department of Defense established TRICARE, a

managed healthcare program, which operates as a supplement to CHAMPUS. See

32 C.F.R. §§ 199.4, 199.17(a). Since the establishment of TRICARE in 1995, both

programs are frequently referred to collectively as TRICARE/CHAMPUS, or just

“TRICARE.” The purpose of the TRICARE program is to improve healthcare

services to beneficiaries by creating “managed care support contracts that include

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special arrangements with civilian sector health care providers.” 32 C.F.R. §

199.17(a)(1). The TRICARE Management Activity (“TMA”) oversees this

program.

21. The TRICARE managed healthcare programs are created through

contracts with managed care contractors in three geographic regions: North, South,

and West. The Defendants serve patients in the South TriCare region. TRICARE

health services are provided through both network, and non-network, participating

providers. Providers who are Medicare-certified providers are also considered

TRICARE-authorized providers. TRICARE-authorized providers are either

“Network Providers” or “Non-Network Providers.”

22. “Network Providers” include hospitals, other authorized medical

facilities, doctors and healthcare professionals, all of whom enter into an

agreement with the region’s managed care contractor, and provide services for an

agreed reimbursement rate. 32 C.F.R. § 199.14(a). “Non-Network Participating

Providers” include hospitals, other authorized medical facilities, doctors and

healthcare professionals who do not enter an agreement with the region’s managed

care provider, and are reimbursed at rates established by TRICARE regulations.

Id.

23. The TRICARE managed care contractor for the South region is

Humana Military Healthcare Services, Inc. This contractor currently lists

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Defendant JBACC’s medical oncologists as Network Providers. To obtain status

as a TRICARE Network Provider, Defendant JBACC signed a contract with these

managed care contractors accepting payment at TRICARE’s negotiated rates.

24. Just as with Medicare and Medicaid, TRICARE providers have an

obligation to provide services and supplies at only the appropriate level and “only

when and to the extent medically necessary.” 32 C.F.R. § 199.6(a)(5).

25. TRICARE’s governing regulations, like Medicare’s and Medicaid’s

requirements also are based upon “medical necessity." TRICARE’s governing

regulations require that services provided be furnished at the appropriate level

and only when and to the extent medically necessary,” and such care must “meet[]

professionally recognized standards of health care [and be] supported by adequate

medical documentation . . . to evidence the medical necessity and quality of

services furnished, as well as the appropriateness of the level of care.” 32 C.F.R.

199.6(a)(5). In this respect, similar to Medicare and Medicaid, services provided

at a level higher than the medically necessary are improper and violations of

TRICARE. Id.

D. Federal Employee Health Benefits Program

26. The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (“FEHBP”) is a

federally funded medical insurance program for federal employees, retirees, their

spouses and unmarried dependent children under age 22, administered by the

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Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §§ 8901, et seq.

Through the OPM, the Government contracts with private health plans or

“carriers” to deliver health benefits to its employees. Monies for the FEHBP are

maintained in the Employees’ Health Benefits Fund ("Health Fund"), and are

administered by OPM. 5 U.S.C. § 8909. Federal agencies and their employees

contribute to the Health Fund to cover the total cost of health care premiums. 5

U.S.C. § 8906. The monies from the Health Fund are used to reimburse the

carriers for claims they pay on behalf of FEHBP beneficiaries.

27. Like Medicare Part B and TRICARE, FEHBP will not cover any

treatment or surgery that is not medically necessary. 5 U.S.C. § 8902(n)(1)(A).

IV. Defendant’s Up-coding of Evaluation and Management Services

A. Federal and State Government Healthcare Programs Reimbursement

Requirements For Evaluation andManagement Services.

28. Both state and Federal Healthcare Programs determine

reimbursements to providers based on the medical necessity of procedures,

services, and hospital admissions. Medical necessity must be determined prior to

the performance of each medical service and must be clearly documented in a

physician’s order. It cannot be determined retroactively.

29. Federal regulations define a “prior determination of medical

necessity” to mean “an individual decision by a Medicare contractor, before a

physician’s service is furnished, as to whether or not the physician’s service is

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covered” by the federal healthcare program. 42 C.F.R. § 410.20. If the service is

not medically necessary, Federal Healthcare Programs will not reimburse the

provider.

30. Doctors submit claims to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE and FEHBP

on the HCFA 1500 claims form. The Form 1500 requires the doctor to describe

the services provided to the patient using standardized numeric codes, called CPT

Codes, which are developed by the American Medical Association. The CPT

Codes for Evaluation & Management (“E/M”) services range from Level I, for the

least complicated services for cases of low severity to Level V, for complex

services for cases of high severity. The Federal Healthcare Programs reimburse

the higher levels of E/M services at a significantly higher rate.

31. For each claim the Defendants submitted to Medicare, Medicaid,

TRICARE or FEHBP for reimbursement, the Defendants certified that the services

were “medically indicated and necessary for the health of the patient.” The

Defendants also agreed that if they “knowingly file[ed] a statement of claim

containing any misrepresentation or any false, incomplete or misleading

information [he] may be guilty of a criminal act punishable under law and may be

subject to civil penalties.”

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32. The Defendants were aware of, or should have been aware of, the

conditions for repayment under the Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE and FEHBP

Programs referred to in the preceding paragraphs.

33. Medicare Part B permits providers to use either of two Evaluation and

Management Documentation Guidelines. These Guidelines are discussed in more

detail infra at Paragraphs 33-35. CPT Codes are used to report E/M services.

While providers must insure that the Guidelines’ requirements for the individual

CPT Codes are met when selecting the appropriate CPT Code, medical necessity

for the service must also be met. According to Medicare, it is not medically

necessary or appropriate to bill a higher level of E/M service when a lower level of

service is all that is medically necessary. Documentation in the medical record

must support the level of service chosen.

34. Medical Necessity of E/M services is generally expressed in two

ways, by the frequency of services and the intensity of service -- which

corresponds to the CPT level. The provider’s documentation of E/M services

reported to Medicare must demonstrate that both the frequency and the intensity of

the E/M service were appropriate considering the nature of the patient’s complaint

and condition. Medicare's determination of medical necessity is separate from its

determination that the E/M service was rendered as billed. Medicare judges the

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provision of the service based on CPT E/M Code definitions and the CMS E/M

Service Documentation Guidelines (1995 and 1997 versions).

35. The CPT Codes that govern E/M services are as follows: for new

patients, 99201 to 99205; and for established patients, 99211-99215. Each level

reflects an increased level of acuity of the patient's presenting complaint; the

number of physical systems evaluated and managed during the encounter; the

acuity and/or duration of the problems evaluated and managed; and the complexity

of documented comorbidities that have clearly influenced the physician's work.

The CPT Codes thus reflect an increasing level of complexity of "medical decision

making."

36. CPT Code 99212 is defined as an office or other outpatient visit for

the evaluation and management of an established patient which requires at least 2

of these 3 key components: a problem focused history; a problem focused

examination; or straightforward medical decision making. Usually the presenting

problems are self-limiting or minor. Physicians typically spend 10 minutes faceto-

face with the patient and/or family. CPT Code 99213 is defined as an office or

other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient

which requires at least 2 of these 3 key components: an expanded problem focused

history; an expanded problem focused examination; medical decision making of

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low complexity. Usually the presenting problems are self-limiting or minor.

Physicians typically spend 15 minutes face-to-face with the patient and/or family.

37. CPT 99214 is defined as an office or other outpatient visit for the

evaluation and management of an established patient, which requires at least 2 of

these 3 key components: a detailed history; a detailed examination; and medical

decision making of moderate complexity. Counselling and/or coordination of care

with other providers or agencies are provided consistent with the nature of the

problem(s) and the patient's and/or family's needs. Usually, the presenting

problems are of moderate to high severity. Physicians typically spend 25 minutes

face-to-face with the patient or family. See Current Procedural Terminology,

Fourth Edition. An office visit qualifying for CPT Code 99215 is identical, except

that it involves medical decision-making of high complexity and typically involves

a forty minute patient visit.1 Medicare makes clear that in order to bill the highest

levels of visit codes, the visit must include a comprehensive history that includes a

review of all of the systems and a review of a complete past family and social

history, whether taken at that visit or a prior visit.

38. To bill for an E/M visit on the day a patient has chemotherapy, the

patient must have a “significantly separately identifiable service,” otherwise the

1The 1995 Documentation Guidelines for E/M Services explain that history,

examination and medical decision making and not time spent with the patients are

generally "the key components in selecting the level of E/M services, unless the

visit predominantly consists of counselling or coordination of care.”

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E/M visit is included in reimbursement for the chemotherapy service. Medicare

Claims Processing Manual, c. 12, secs. 30.6.F, 30.6.6. A different diagnosis is not

required; however, documentation for that visit must reflect a “significant,

separately identifiable E/M service that is above and beyond the usual pre-and

post-operative work of the [chemotherapy].” Id. At 30.6.6.

B. Defendant’s Improper Billing of Evaluation and Management Services to

Federal Payors

39. Almost immediately after joining JBACC in September, 2011,

Plaintiff-Relator Barker identified a long-standing practice of improper coding and

billing Federal Healthcare Programs and Medicaid for office visits. The issues that

the Relator identified included: (1) billing for E/M services (office visits) at levels

that were not supported by the documentation in the medical record; and (2) billing

for E/M services that were included within the reimbursement for the

administration of chemotherapy and thus were not separately billable.

40. JBACC has five medical oncologists: Wilbur Bassett Jr., M.D., Peter

Jiang, M.D., Wendy Mahone Johnson, M.D., Suresh Nukala, M.D., and Andrew

Pippas, M.D. Dr. Pippas serves as the Medical Director of JBACC. Medical

oncologists specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy,

hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy. They often are the

main health care provider for someone who has cancer.

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41. At JBACC, during the first three years that medical oncologists are

employed, they are salaried employees, and their compensation does not depend

upon the number of patients they see or the revenue they generate. After three

years, their compensation changes to a Revenue Value Unit (“RVU”), based

methodology. Medicare assigns each CPT Code an RVU, which when multiplied

by the conversion factor (which converts the RVU to an actual dollar amount) and

a geographical adjustment (which accounts for the geographic differences in the

cost of practice across the country), creates the compensation level for a particular

service. CMS pays the bulk of the physician fees, under Medicare Part B, through

RVUs. Medicare Claims Processing Manual, c. 12, sec. 20.2.

42. The medical oncologists at JBACC are paid $90 per RVU, for each

and every RVU they generate, according to the following chart:

CPT

Code

RVU Payment

99201 .45 $40.50

99202 .88 $79.20

99203 1.34 $120.60

99204 2.0 $180.0

99205 2.67 $240.30

99211 .17 $15.30

99212 .45 $40.50

99213 .67 $60.30

99214 1.10 $99.00

99215 1.77 $159.30

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43. In addition to receiving compensation based upon the RVUs they

generate after three years, medical oncologists are given responsibility to code

their own work. Thus, there is a direct correlation between a medical oncologist’s

compensation and the billing code he or she chooses to seek reimbursement from

third party payers.

44. After the patient visit, the physician circles the CPT Code to be billed

for that visit on a pre-printed charge sheet or “Super Bill,” and forwards that form

to Sandra Pritchett, Regional Oncology’s only Medical Oncology Coder. Ms.

Pritchett enters that code into Athena, the software package that the JBACC uses to

submit its claims for professional fees. At the time Ms. Pritchett enters the code,

she does not have the medical record, so that she cannot determine whether the

documentation in the medical record supports the billing charge.

45. After Ms. Pritchett enters the charge into the billing system, the

information is transmitted to the TMC Physician’s Revenue Cycle Management

department at JBACC’s affiliated hospital, TMC. Jeffrey Johnson is the Director

of this Department. TMC actually submits the charge to Federal Healthcare

Programs through its fiscal intermediaries, in the case of Medicare, through

Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators, for payment by CMS. Hewlett

Packard Enterprise Services serves as the fiscal intermediary for Medicaid and

Humana Military Healthcare Services, Inc. For TRICARE. TMC does not review

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these charges to ensure that the medical record supports the level of acuity claimed

prior to passing them on to its fiscal intermediaries for submission to the federal or

state governments.

46. Not only does Ms. Pritchett not have the medical record at hand to

verify the accuracy of the charge before it is submitted through the Athena billing

system to TMC for billing Federal Healthcare Programs, but as the Relator has

discovered through his tenure at JBACC, that documentation may, in fact, not

exist. At JBACC, there are no electronic medical records in which providers

contemporaneously enter information about encounters; instead, physicians may

complete their medical documentation by dictating their impressions of their

encounters with patients into cassette records. Their notes are then transcribed and

returned to the medical oncologists for their review and signature to be placed in

the patient’s chart.

47. Under this system, many patient records are not transcribed for up to

six months after the patient visit – long after the claim form has been submitted for

the patient encounter. There are no written policies for timely dictation of progress

notes or record completion.

48. Relator Barker began working at JBACC in September 2011. On

September 29, 2011, during his first week there, Karon Duderewicz, JBACC’s

Health Information Management (“HIM”) manager, showed the Relator a

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bookcase in Dr. Pippas’ office filled with patient medical records that contained

unsigned physician telephone and verbal orders for drugs and laboratory tests,

missing dictation and patient encounter forms with “HNO” (hand note only)

written on them. (HNO indicates that there will not be any additional dictation

generated for that visit.) Upon review, many, if not most of these HNO encounter

forms did not contain enough information to support the CPT charge indicated for

that day’s visit.

49. The Relator soon learned that these problems with medical records

were wide-spread. This disarray with the missing dictation violates CMS policy

that the CPT Codes appropriately reflect the “medical necessity” of the particular

E/M visit, that the medical records support the particular CPT Code assigned to the

visit, and that the documentation in the medical records be completed during the

patient visit or as soon as practicable thereafter.

50. The Relator learned from Karon Duderwicz, the JBACC HIM

Manager, that Dr. Pippas, JBACC’s Medical Director, frequently instructs his

transcriptionist to “roll my last note forward with the following changes.” Thus,

his documentation for office visits duplicates, at least in part, information from one

visit to the next.

51. On October 4, 2011, just a little over a week after he joined JBACC,

and in his first regularly scheduled meeting with his then-boss, Kevin Sass, Chief

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Executive Officer for the Doctors Hospital, Relator told Mr. Sass about the issues

he had uncovered with medical documentation of office visits. The Relator

informed Mr. Sass that many of the medical oncologists’ patient encounter forms

did not support the E/M claims submitted on their behalf. Mr. Sass agreed and

admitted that this was not the first time that he had heard of this issue.

52. Relator raised this issue again during his next meeting with Mr. Sass,

on October 13, 2011. Relator told Mr. Sass during this visit that he had learned

that Dr. Pippas generated a disproportionate number of CPT Code level 5 visits,

which, combined with the large number of patients Dr. Pippas saw every day,

might raise red flags for an audit by CMS and other insurers. The Relator learned

about the disproportionate number of 99215 billings from Angie Finley, a Senior

Systems Analyst in JBACC Corporate Finance, who send the Relator a monthly

report that lists all of the E & M visits billed broken down by code, by practitioner.

These reports are utilized by JBACC to determine each physician’s monthly

compensation.

53. On October 25, 2011, Bonnie Conrad, the Interim Patient Financial

Services Associate Director at JBACC, informed Susan Norton, Director of Self

Pay at JBACC, that there were “in excess of 200 charts in Dr. Pippas’ office that

have not had dictation done on that we have already charged and billed for.” After

first confirming that Ms. Conrad had “actually seen” the charts, Ms. Norton

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forwarded the email to Roland Thacker, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial

Officer, CRHS, Kevin Sass, Chief Executive Officer, the Doctor’s Hospital and

Patricia Alford, Senior Director, Patient Financial Services, CRHS, that same day.

54. More than a month later, on November 30, 2011, Ms. Norton

informed Mr. Thacker, Mr. Sass, and Ms. Alford that there has been no

“improvement in the area of dictation and chart completion,” employees are

voicing their concerns and the organization is “billing and collecting with

incomplete patient records.”

55. After receiving no response to her earlier emails, Ms. Norton again

reported to Mr. Thacker on January 16, 2012 that “concerns [about medical

documentation] are growing.” She stated that the JBACC is “continuing to

perform services without the appropriate documentation,” and people were

discussing “corporate compliance” and “whistle blower.”

56. Throughout this time period, Relator Barker repeatedly informed

Jeffrey Johnson, Director of Professional Fees, JBACC and Ms. Alford of

numerous infractions of Medicare rules and regulations that JBACC committed on

a regular basis; both admitted that they were aware of the situation, but took no

action to refund overpayments to Medicare, Medicaid or other federal payors.

Relator Barker also expressed his concerns to Dr. Pippas, the Medical Director for

JBACC; urging Dr. Pippas to complete his dictation and suggested the need for an

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outside consultant to review JBACC’s billing processes. Dr. Pippas assured

Relator Barker that all was well, there was no need for an outside consultant and

that he would complete his missing dictation.

57. In addition to sounding the alarm about the improper billing practices

at JBACC, Relator Barker attempted to ensure that current coders received proper

training. He submitted requests for travel and training for two coders: one who

needed to be recertified and another who needed to take a test to be certified. Both

requests were denied without further explanation. In fact, since Relator Barker’s

arrival in September 2011, there has been no training specific to coding or billing

at JBACC. Nor does JBACC receive Medicare or Medicaid billing publications.

Compared to his previous employment in the industry, Relator Barker notes that

this lack of training is unusual. The only compliance training that employees

receive is during new employee orientation, with no refresher courses or updates

provided.

58. On January 12, 2012, Mr. Thacker finally replied to Ms. Norton’s

email, indicating that Mr. Johnson had conducted a brief audit on the issues and

stated that at a minimum “all professional (physician) billings should be suspended

until documentation or chart is considered complete.” For incomplete records that

have already been billed, Mr. Thacker indicated that they “might use an outside

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firm to audit and/or provide assistance with eliminating the backlog,” but he was

waiting for a specific recommendation.

59. Mr. Thacker minimized the issue as just “unsigned charts.” Ms.

Norton responded the next day to explain that the problem is two-fold; there are

both missing signatures and “some charges are missing documentation to support

the E & M level.”

60. On January 17, 2012, Mr. Thacker stated that he had called Healthcare

Management Resources, Inc. (“HMR”), an outside consultant, regarding

compliance audits. HMR evaluates medical practices and provides advice on a

number of issues such as billing and account receivable management,

administrative services and operations performance. HMR began its review of

JBACC compliance issues on May 1, 2012.

61. On February 9, 2012, Ms. Conrad sent a memo to Ms. Norton, Ms.

Alford, Mr. Sass and the Relator, which included her “Recommendations for

JBACC Revenue [Billing] Cycle Improvements.” In it, she specifically cited two

possible compliance issues: (1) the lack of follow up physician signatures on all

telephone and verbal orders; and (2) the lack of appropriate “back-up

documentation in the medical record to justify the E & M

coding/charging/billing/payment.” Ms. Conrad also recommended that the JBACC

25

provide compliance training to physicians and staff and provide “documentation”

training to all physicians. To date, this training has not occurred.

62. On February 28, 2012, the JBACC was also made aware of improper

billing to private insurers (in addition to the Relator’s earlier notice of its improper

billing to Medicare) when Ms. Pritchett informed Mr. Johnson, Director of

Professional Fees, that a private insurer had asked for medical records to support

Dr. Basset’s billing for E/M office visits because “he almost always [chooses] a

99215 level.” 99215 is the highest level for an office visit. In fact, Dr. Bassett

virtually always chooses the 99215 level for his patients covered by both private

insurers and Federal Healthcare Programs.

63. On March 8, 2012, on her second to last day at the JBACC, Ms.

Conrad wrote to Charles Stark, the new CEO of CRHS, to express her compliance

concerns. Ms. Conrad was the Interim Patient Financial Services Associate

Director pending the search for a permanent candidate. In her letter to Mr. Stark,

she explained that she had received no response at all to her February 9, 2012

recommendations; met with her supervisor, Ms. Alford, Senior Director, Patient

Financial Services, CRHS, only once since her initial interview for the position;

had her weekly meetings with Ms. Norton, Director of Self Pay at JBACC,

discontinued after the first month; and was told “don’t go there” by Ms. Norton

whenever she mentioned compliance issues.

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64. During her time as Interim Patient Financial Services Associate

Director, Ms. Conrad also created a Medical Necessity Task Force to help resolve

these compliance and documentation issues. Relator Barker served on this Task

Force, along with Ms. Conrad and Ms. Duderwicz. While it has not officially

disbanded, the Task Force has not met since Ms. Conrad’s departure in March

2012.

C. Relator’s Medical Record Review

65. Ninety seven medical records reflecting services rendered to federal

or state health benefit program patients were reviewed by an expert retained by

Relator’s counsel. The expert, John Beattie, Chief Executive Officer and President

of Trusent Solutions (“Trusent”), is a former supervisory auditor for HHS’s Office

of Inspector General. He has twenty five years of experience in health care and the

audit and investigation of various government programs. Mr. Beattie and other

Trusent staff reviewed the medical records to determine whether the services

rendered were medically necessary and whether the level of E/M services billed

was appropriate under both the 1995 and 1997 Document Guidelines.

66. Trusent’s review of the medical records determined the following:

1995

Guidelines

1997

Guidelines

Summary of Findings

27 21 Number of office visits coded correctly

46 56 Number of office visits over coded

11 11 Number of office visits not supporting an E/M level of

service

27

1 1 Number of consultations and not office visits

12 8 Number of office visits under coded

97 97 Total number of office visits

67. Under the 1995 Guidelines, 47% of office visits were over coded,

while under the 1997 Guidelines, this percentage increases to 58%. These over

coded visits break down as follows:

1995

Guidelines

1997

Guidelines

Over Coded Visit Detail

23 28 Number of visits over coded by one level

14 17 Number of visits over coded by two levels

9 11 Number of visits over coded by three levels

46 56 Total number of visits over coded

68. Thus, an eye popping 50% of the office visits that were over coded

were over coded by two or more levels. Of these over coded office visits, 35 were

over coded under both the 1995 and 1997 Guidelines, as detailed below:

Office visits over

coded under both

the 1995 and 1997

Guidelines

Summary of findings

15 Office visits over coded by one level

12 Office visits over coded by two levels

8 Office visits over coded by three levels

35 Total office visits over coded under both the 1995 and 1997

Guidelines

69. In comparison with JBACC’s 47% and 58% of over coded office

visits, CMS, through its Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (“CERT”) Program,

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determined that the error rate in 2010 for improper Medicare payments for E & M

services was 10.5%. The CERT Program reviews a random sample of 160,000

claims per year, to determine if they were paid correctly. According to CMS,

claims are deemed paid incorrectly if: (1) a provider fails to submit a requested

record [to support its chosen CPT Code], (2) there is insufficient documentation

regarding the claim, (3) there is a lack of medical necessity for the claim, (4) the

claim was incorrectly coded, or (5) for some other reason, including duplicate

payments or another type of billing error.

70. Examples of the over coding of Federal Healthcare Programs and

Medicaid patients determined by Trusent’s audit include:

Patient DH. On October 12, 2011, patient DH visited Dr. Pippas at

JBACC claiming he was dizzy and lightheaded. A detailed patient

history was taken, along with a problem focused medical exam, which

led to medical decision making of low complexity. Under both the

1995 and 1997 Guidelines, this visit warranted a CPT Code 99213,

not the claim for CPT Code 99215 that was submitted;

Patient ER: On April 4, 2011, patient ER visited Dr. Pippas at

JBACC. A problem focused history was taken, along with a problem

focused medical exam, resulting in medical decision making of low

complexity. Under both the 1995 and 1997 Guidelines, this visit

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warranted a CPT Code 99212 rather than the CPT Code 99215 that

was submitted;

Patient JH: On December 12, 2007, patient JH visited Dr. Pippas at

JBACC claiming epigastric pain. A problem focused history was

taken, along with a problem focused medical exam, followed by

straightforward medical decision making. Under both the 1995 and

1997 Guidelines, this visit warranted a CPT Code 99212 rather than

the CPT Code 99214 that was submitted;

Patient ES: On August 25, 2010, patient ES visited Dr. Pippas at

JBACC to discuss the results of an MRI on the patient’s brain. An

expanded problem focused history was taken, along with a problem

focused medical exam, followed by medical decision making of high

complexity. Under both the 1995 and 1997 Guidelines, this visit

warranted a CPT Code 99213 rather than the CPT Code 99215 that

was submitted. Another visit by patient ES to Dr. Pippas also resulted

in over coding. On January 19, 2011, patient ES visited the JBACC

for an appointment relating to her breast cancer. With no record of a

patient history, a problem focused medical exam and straightforward

medical decision making, a claim was submitted under CPT Code

99215, rather than the CPT Code 99212 that the encounter warranted;

30

Patient BB: On May 12, 2011, patient BB visited Dr. Pippas at

JBACC. A problem focused history was taken, followed by a

problem focused medical exam, resulting in straightforward medical

decision making. Under both the 1995 and 1997 Guidelines, this visit

warranted a CPT Code 99212 rather than the CPT Code 99214 that

was submitted; and

Patient MI: On September 23, 2010, patient MI visited Dr. Pippas at

JBACC complaining of night sweats, chills and fever resulting. An

expanded problem focused history was taken, followed by a

comprehensive (1995 Guideline) or detailed (1997 Guideline) medical

exam, which resulted in a straightforward medical decision making.

Under both the 1995 and 1997 Guidelines, this visit warranted a CPT

Code 99213 rather than the CPT Code 99215 that was submitted.

71. In addition, Trusent determined that 11 of the 97 office visits did not

support an E/M level of service at all because the office visit was inherent to the

chemotherapy session and did not support a separately identifiable E/M service.

Examples of these visits which were billed to federal health care programs or

Medicaid include:

Patient ER: On May 23, 2011, patient ER went to JBACC for

chemotherapy. A claim with CPT Code 99213 was submitted, but the

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documentation for this office visit does not support a separately

identifiable E/M service. Instead, the patient history, medical exam

and medical decision making were all inherent to the patient’s chemo

session;

Patient ER: On June 27, 2011 and September 6, 2011, patient ER

went to JBACC for chemotherapy. Claims with CPT Code 99214

were submitted for each visit, but the documentation for these office

visits does not support separately identifiable E/M services. Instead,

the patient history, medical exam and medical decision making were

all inherent to the patient’s chemo session;

Patient JP: On May 16, 2011 and June 13, 2011, patient JP went to

JBACC for chemotherapy. Claims with CPT Code 99215 were

submitted for each visit, but the documentation for these office visits

does not support separately identifiable E/M services. Instead, the

patient history, medical exam and medical decision making were all

inherent to the patient’s chemo session;

Patient JB: On November 14 and 21, 2011, patient JB went to

JBACC for chemotherapy. Claims with CPT Code 99213 and 99214

were submitted for each visit, but the documentation for these office

visits does not support separately identifiable E/M services. Instead,

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the patient history, medical exam and medical decision making were

all inherent to the patient’s chemo session; and

Patient JS: On December 28, 2011, patient ER went to JBACC for

chemotherapy. A claim with CPT Code 99215 was submitted, but the

documentation for this office visit does not support a separately

identifiable E/M service. Instead, the patient history, medical exam

and medical decision making were all inherent to the patient’s chemo

session.

72. In sum, the JBACC’s RVU-based compensation methodology,

coupled with its complete lack of oversight over medical oncologist’s coding

practices, has allowed it to systematically overbill Medicare and other federally

funded health benefit programs for years, reaping potentially millions of dollars in

unearned fees.

D. Defendant’s 2012 Internal Audit of E & M Billing Practices

73. As noted above, in ¶ 58, in or about February 2012, the Defendants

hired an independent consultant, Health Management Resources (“HMR”) Audit

Guard, to review E & M coding for all outpatient clinics including JBACC. The

results of that audit were provided to the Defendant on or about July 13, 2012.

That audit confirmed the concerns expressed by Mr. Barker to his colleagues at

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JBACC that medical record documentation and coding were seriously deficient.

(See ¶¶46-55, supra) and corroborated the results of the Trusent audit.

74. The HMR audit included a review of 40 charts. The results for Dr.

Bassett showed that he over-coded E & M visits 63% of the time, a figure that

significantly exceeds the non-compliance rate determined by Trusent. The audit

conducted by the Defendant determined that Dr. Bassett never under-coded his E

& M visits. An audit showing that E & M visits are over-coded 63% of the time

accompanied by a finding that E & M visits are never under-coded is consistent

with fraud and not with errors/mistakes made in good faith. The review of Dr.

Bassett’s patient records included patients who are beneficiaries of federal health

benefit programs including Medicare and Medicaid.

75. The HMR audit concluded, based upon the review of 40 charts, that

Dr. Pippas had an error rate of 68%, that is, 68% of the time he up-coded his E &

M visits to a higher level. The auditors found that none of Dr. Pippas E & M visits

were under-coded. A finding that 68% of charts are up-coded and no charts are

under-coded is consistent with fraud and inconsistent with a finding of good faith

errors or mistakes. The review of Dr. Pippas’ patient records included patients

who are beneficiaries of federal health benefit programs including Medicare and

Medicaid. Dr. Currie, another medical oncologist had a 40% error rate (with 5

charts under-coded).

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76. The Defendant’s audit also uncovered excessive coding error rates in

other disciplines besides medical oncology. For example, Dr. Villegas, an

OB/GYN, was found to have an up-coding rate of 50% based upon a review of 40

charts. None of his E & M charges were found to be under-coded. Dr. Hardy,

another OB/GYN, had a 45% error rate; no charts were found to be under-coded.

Dr. Samuel, an internal medicine physician, had a 61% up-coding error rate; 2 of

the 40 charts were found to be under-coded. Other physicians with striking error

rates include Dr. Hill, maternal fetal medicine, 54% error rate (1 chart undercoded);

Dr. Naqvi, 38% error rate (1 chart under-coded); Dr. Johnson, 37% error

rate (2 charts under-coded); and Dr. Nwaobi, an OB/GYN, 39% error rate (5

charts under-coded). The audits not only showed which patients’ claims had been

incorrectly coded but also reflected the amount that should be refunded to insurers,

including the amount that should be refunded to federal health benefits programs.

The audit results could also easily be extrapolated to calculate an overall

overpayment amount that should be refunded to insurers, including federal health

benefit programs. Extrapolation from a sample is a commonly accepted routine

practice to determine an overall overpayment. As of the date of this Amended

Complaint no money has been refunded by CRHS to federal health benefit

programs despite the fact that CRHS knows that money is owed because of the upcoding

described herein.

35

77. After the audit, the Defendant provided further training to the

JBACC physicians, including Drs. Bassett and Pippas. For a time, charts that

auditors determined had been coded at too high a level (up-coded) were returned to

Dr. Pippas for review, with a notation that indicated how the documentation failed

to meet the CMS coding requirements set forth above. Instead of adjusting his

selected code downward, Dr. Pippas instead modified the existing medical record

to justify the higher charges, for example, adding additional “reviews of systems”

that were not initially included in the original documentation in order to justify a

higher level E & M charge. This practice ended in or about October, 2012 when

Dr. Pippas was finally told that he would be unable to change the medical records

to conform to the higher billing code he had selected.

78. Dr. Pippas was aware that the change in coding practice (to

appropriately reflect the service actually rendered rather than the inflated code he

assigned) would directly affect his compensation. Instead of receiving a payment

for the up-coded 99215s of $159.30, Dr. Pippas would receive $40.50 (for a

99212) or a $60.30 (for a 99213). Dr. Pippas vociferously objected to this reduced

compensation and sought a guarantee from JBACC management that his

compensation would remain at the same level for at least six months after the

coding changes were implemented. Dr. Pippas also enlisted the advocacy on his

behalf of JBACC’s major donor, Dan Amos, CEO of AFLAC, who had played a

36

role in hiring Dr. Pippas to become Medical Director of JBACC. Dr. Pippas told

Amos that his compensation was being curtailed by coding changes. Amos

responded by telling Charles A. Stark (CEO of CRHS) that if the hospital

continued to curtail the amount Dr. Pippas could earn by correcting the bills

submitted to insurers he (Amos) would withhold his contribution to JBACC’s

planned building expansion project.

79. Not only did up-coding E & M services cause federal health benefit

programs to pay more than they would have for doctor’s visits based strictly on the

compensation set by Medicare for each E & M level (Medicare pays roughly $60

more for a 99215 than a 99213), but because CRHS also charges Medicare a

“facility fee” (which it is permitted to do because it is operated as a hospital

outpatient department, POS22). The facility fee is determined by CRHS’ billing

department in a way that links it is directly to the charge to Medicare for the E &

M code. If a doctor codes a visit as a 99215, then Medicare is automatically

(through CRHS’ Athena pro fee billing software) charged an equivalent amount for

a technical fee, causing Medicare to reimburse the technical fee at an inflated rate

as well as the E & M charge. The professional fee is billed on a HFCA 1500 to

Part B of Medicare and the facility fee is billed on a UB04 to Part A of Medicare.

80. As of no later than August 10, 2012, the Defendants knew that

Medicare and other federal health benefit programs had overpaid for the E & M

37

services provided to federal health program beneficiaries. Defendants also knew

that they were legally obligated to refund any overpayments made by Medicare

and other federal health benefit programs. In conversations with senior executives

with financial oversight employed by the defendants, including Jeffrey Johnson,

JBACC Chief Financial Officer and Renee Archer, CRHS Compliance Officer,

Mr. Barker was told that the Defendants intended to repay the overpayments

identified by the HMR audit, if at all, only in small increments that would not raise

any concerns with Medicare or other federal health benefit programs. Mr. Barker

was informed that any amounts repaid would not begin to capture the true amounts

owed, for fear of drawing the attention of federal payors, resulting in an audit. As

of the date of this Complaint no repayments of overpayments identified by HMR

have been made.

V. Defendant’s Improper Billing of Incident To Services

A. Reimbursement Requirements for Incident to Services

81. CMS regulations require as a condition of payment that mid-level

providers such as Nurse Practitioners be credentialed with Medicare and obtain

their own provider number in order to bill their services to Medicare.

82. CMS regulations require, as a condition of payment, that providers

services that are provided jointly by a mid-level practitioner and a physician to an

inpatient may only be billed as “incident to” a physician’s service if: (1) the

38

physician’s documentation clearly indicates his or her face-to-face involvement;

(2) the physician and NPP personally document the portion of the E & M they each

performed; (3) the documentation clearly supports the combined service level

billed; and (4) both providers are both enrolled as Medicare providers.

B. Facts Relating to Defendant’s Improper Billing for Incident to Services

83. As early as January 10, 2007, the Defendants were informed by

Gates, Moore & Company, who conducted an audit of the Defendants’ billing

practices, that “mid-level providers [at JBACC] are not credentialed with payors

and are being billed “incident to” the physicians [which is] not acceptable to

Medicare and Medicaid since this site is classified as a hospital based out-patient

clinic”. The auditors warned the Defendant to “credential your PAs and Nurse

Practitioners with Medicare and Medicaid and begin billing their services under

their own provider numbers”.

84. The January 10, 2007 audit also noted that “Dr. Rodriguez’s charges

are being filed under Dr. Pippas’ provider number. There are no circumstances

under which a physician’s charges can be billed ‘incident to’ another physician

except under a locum/tenens arrangement which this situation does not qualify for.

Therefore we recommend that you discontinue billing Doctor Rodriguez’s charges

under Doctor Pippas and begin billing his services under his own provider number

immediately.”

39

85. The January 10, 2007 audit recommended with respect to mid-level

providers that a “comprehensive review be undertaken and that Medicare and/or

Medicaid is refunded for any collections that may not meet their billing guidelines

for mid-level providers….” As for Dr. Rodriquez, the audit stated that “as the

claims filed using Doctor Pippas’ provider number for Doctor Rodriguez’s services

were not appropriate, CRHS may need to review and refund to Medicare and/or

Medicaid any collections obtained in this matter.”

86. Despite the warnings contained in the 2007 audit, as of 2013, six

years later, the Defendants still were not in compliance with the CMS regulations

regarding mid-level practitioner credentialing with Medicare and appropriate

documentation of a split/shared visit. On or about February 13, 2013 Renee

Archer, CRHS Ethics and Compliance Officer learned from Karen Nelson, a

JBACC Nurse Practitioner , that she was not credentialed with Medicare and did

not have her own Medicare provider number. Ms. Archer also learned that Dr.

Pippas, did not, as required by Medicare, personally document the services he

performed. On February 13, 2013, Jeffrey Johnson, Chief Financial Officer for

JBACC, warned Dr. Pippas in an email that “It has been brought to my attention

that you are using a mid-level provider (Karen Nelson) in the hospital to round on

your inpatients. There are certain criteria that must be met to comply with CMS

guidelines in order to bill under your provider number. In reviewing your

40

December 2012 and January 2013 hospital charges there were submissions that

don’t meet the criteria described below and therefore have not been billed. The

primary issue is that Karen Nelson isn’t enrolled in Medicare. When coding your

hospital visits we can only consider the work you performed and documented on

that day. I have instructed Tammy Barnwell to contact Karen and start the

credentialing process. We will review your submitted hospital charges on an

individual basis and submit all allowable visits.”

VI. Defendants’ Violations of Stark and the Anti-Kickback Statute

A. The Anti-Kickback Statute

87. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute ("AKS") prohibits the payment, in

any form, whether direct or indirect, made in part or in whole to induce or reward

the referral or generation of federal health care business. The AKS prohibits the

offer or payment of “anything of value” in return for referrals. A “thing of value”

is defined broadly to include payment in cash or kind. The AKS extends equally to

the solicitation or acceptance of payments and to offers to pay and to actual

payments for referrals. Under the AKS both criminal and civil penalties apply,

including civil monetary penalties, and the sanction of exclusion from federal

health benefit programs. The AKS was enacted because of Congressional

concerns that payments made in return for referrals would lead to overutilization,

41

affect medical judgment, and restrict competition, ultimately resulting in poor

quality of care being delivered to patients.

88. In addition to prohibiting payments designed to induce referrals, the

AKS prohibits the entity receiving a prohibited referral from presenting or causing

to be presented to Medicare any claim for referrals that are induced by kickbacks.

In 2010 the AKS was amended to provide that a claim that includes items or

services resulting from kickback violations are deemed "false" under the FCA. 42

U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(g).

89. The AKS has statutory and regulatory "Safe Harbors" that identify

specific arrangements that do not violate the statute if all terms of the Safe Harbors

are observed by the parties. For example, the "personal services" Safe Harbor

permits compensation arrangements between non-employee physicians and

hospitals if: (1) there is a written agreement between the parties that is signed by

the physician and the institution; (2) the term of the agreement is at least one year;

(3) the agreement covers all of the services to be provided by the physician and

sets forth his or her duties with specificity; (4) the aggregate compensation paid to

the consultant over the term of the agreement is set in advance, is consistent with

Fair Market Value in an arms-length transaction, and is not determined by the

volume or value of any referrals or business otherwise generated between the

physician and the hospital. 42 C.F.R. § 1001.952(d).

42

90. The AKS Safe Harbors also address space and equipment rental. To

comply with this Safe Harbor, the parties must (1) enter into a written lease, (2)

that has a term of at least one year; and (3) sets a fair market value payment for the

space or equipment that is set in advance and is not determined by the value of

referrals. In particular the Safe Harbor requires that, for leases of office space, that

“[t]he aggregate space rented does not exceed that which is reasonably necessary

to accomplish the commercially reasonable business purposes of the rental.” Fair

Market Value as defined as “the value of the rental property for general

commercial purposes.”

B. The Stark Statute

91. The Stark Statute prohibits a physician from referring Medicare

patients for certain “designated health services” (DHS) to an entity with which he

has a “financial relationship”, unless an exception applies. 42 U.S.C. §

1395nn(a)(1)(A). The purpose of the statute is to reduce excess costs incurred by

the Medicare program due to overutilization of services, anti-competitive behavior,

and the corruption of medical judgment caused by physicians’ financial selfinterests.

92. The Stark Statute defines DHS to include inpatient and outpatient

hospital services. Id. § 1395nn(h)(6). Radiation oncology is a Stark DHS. While

the professional services involved in delivering radiation therapy are not

43

considered “referrals” under Stark if personally performed by the referring

physician, the technical portion (i.e. the portion billed to Medicare for the facility

or equipment used) is a DHS “referral” under Stark. The statute broadly defines

“financial relationship” to include physician compensation arrangements, as well

as ownership and investment interests. Id. 1395nn(a)(2). The Stark Statute applies

to both direct and indirect financial relationships. 42 C.F.R. § 411.354.

93. In addition to prohibiting certain physician referrals, the Stark

Statute prohibits an entity receiving a referral from a person or entity with which it

has a financial relationship from presenting or causing to be presented to Medicare

any claim for DHS provided as a result of that referral. 42 U.S.C. §

1395nn(a)(1)(B). The statute prohibits a physician or other person from presenting

or causing to be presented a claim for DHS that the physician knows or should

know is for an item or service that is not payable under the statute. Id. §

1395nn(g)(3).

94. As with the AKS, Stark is subject to "Safe Harbor" exceptions that

identify specific arrangements that will not violate the statute as long as all terms

of the exceptions are observed. For example, under Stark, a compensation

arrangement between a physician and a hospital is exempt if: (1) the arrangement