KY doctor guilty in $14 million billing for unneeded items
A Kentucky doctor has admitted taking kickbacks in connection with $14 million in bills to Medicare for equipment and tests that were medically unnecessary.
Amr Mohamed, 55, pleaded guilty in federal court in Lexington Monday to one charge of conspiring to violate a federal anti-kickback law.
Mohamed worked at the University of Kentucky when he was indicted on March 2, 2023. He specializes in nephrology, which deals with diseases of the kidney.
Mohamed’s clinical privileges at UK HealthCare were deactivated the next day, according to spokesperson Kristi Willett.
Mohamed completed medical school in Egypt in 1992 and has been licensed in Kentucky since 2012, according to a state record.
The charge against Mohamed is punishable by up to five years in prison.
The allegations against Mohamed did not involve his work at UK, but rather his work to perform telemedicine services for a company called RediDoc L.L.C.
Mohamed took kickbacks from RediDoc to order medical equipment, creams and genetic testing for Medicare beneficiaries, but the equipment and services were not medically necessary, according to his plea agreement.
That was because Mohamed did not have a real doctor-patient relationship with the beneficiaries; did not use the results of the tests to treat them; and because he received payments that were considered kickbacks for doing the orders, his plea agreement said.
Mohamed ordered medically unnecessary equipment, creams or tests for more than 7,000 people between March 2018 and April 2019 that resulted in more than $14.1 million in billing to Medicare.
His plea cited a case in which a woman in Kentucky received a call from someone who told her she was eligible for free medical braces. The woman told the caller — who was not identified in the document — that she couldn’t wear braces because of a skin condition, and not to send them.
Despite that, Mohamed ordered the braces for her, which resulted in a bill to Medicare for $1,695, according to his plea.
RediDoc paid him $20 for writing the order.
Altogether, RediDoc paid Mohamed $261,054 in just over a year.
Mohamed agreed to pay at least that much in restitution to Medicare.
He could be held liable, along with the owners of RediDoc, to repay the $14.1 million in fraudulent billing that his orders enabled, according to the court record.
The owners of RediDoc, Stephen Luke and David C. Laughlin Jr., have pleaded guilty in federal court in New Jersey but have not been sentenced.
Documents in their cases indicate the company took part in more than $60 million in billing to Medicare for unnecessary equipment or tests.
U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell scheduled Mohamed to be sentenced in May.
This story was originally published February 12, 2024, 2:31 PM.