Home > Audits and Billing Issues, Fraud and Abuse, Medicaid, Medicare, Physician Practices, Regulation > US Attorney’s Office – Idaho: Caldwell Optometrist Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Health Care Benefit Progtams

US Attorney’s Office – Idaho: Caldwell Optometrist Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Health Care Benefit Progtams

BOISE – Christopher Card, 59, of Caldwell, Idaho, pled guilty in United States District Court today to a superseding information charging him with one count of executing a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Card is a licensed optometrist in Idaho and the former owner, manager and care provider at Total Vision, P.A., in Caldwell.

According to the plea agreement, on various dates between 1993 and August 31, 2010, Card executed a scheme to defraud Idaho Medicaid, Medicare, Blue Cross of Idaho, Regence Blue Shield of Idaho, and the Rail Road Retirement Board (RRB), by making false statements, and by submitting false, fraudulent, and fictitious claims for reimbursement to these health care benefit programs. The total loss to the health care benefit programs and the restitution agreed to by the parties is $1 million.

According to the plea agreement, Card fraudulently billed health care benefit programs, especially Medicaid and Medicare, for false diagnoses, including glaucoma, acquired color deficiency (color blindness), tension headaches, macular degeneration, treatment of eye injuries and removal of foreign objects from the eye. Card billed for testing that did not actually occur and for testing results that were falsified or altered. He admitted that in late October 2008, he altered his fraudulent diagnoses and billing practices when he learned that federal and state health care fraud investigators interviewed a former employee.

According to the plea agreement, 18 patients identified in the original indictment were diagnosed by Card with glaucoma or glaucoma-related conditions. All were subsequently examined by other doctors; only one was determined to actually have the glaucoma or glaucoma related diseases that Card had diagnosed. Card falsely diagnosed the 18th patient, and others, with acquired color deficiency. According to the plea agreement, the patients named in the original indictment were not the only patients for whom Card falsely billed health insurance companies.

See on www.justice.gov

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