Drew Medical's Dinkel banned from Medicare business

Drew Medical's Michael Dinkel has been banned from doing business with Medicare for 8 years after his company, a diagnostic imaging services provider located in Orlando, FL, tried to defraud the U.S. of $1.6 million. Administrative Law Judge Steven Kessel found that over a more than two-year period, Dinkel caused the submission of nearly 9,500 false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs seeking reimbursement for services relating to a procedure known as venography.

"I'm the owner of Drew Medical. The buck stops with me," Dinkel acknowledged in testimony. And Kessel apparently agreed, saying Dinkel was personally responsible for ensuring that Drew Medical claimed reimbursement appropriately and that his failure to do so "constituted reckless indifference to the propriety of the claims he caused to be presented," according to a statement.

The Justice Department previously entered into a civil False Claims Act settlement with Dinkel, Drew Medical and Central Florida Radiology for more than $1.1 million. Prior to the civil settlement, the Office of Inspector General notified Dinkel that it intended to exclude him. Kessel's ruling upholds that decision.

Exclusions are part of an expanded U.S. legal authority announced in October 2010 following fines on drugmakers for fraudulent marketing, as Bloomberg notes. These exclusions punish executives who knew or should have known about fraud at their firms.

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