ALJ Upholds OIG’s Eight-Year Exclusion of Company Owner
In yet another example of the OIG’s use of its exclusionary authority against individuals, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) upheld the OIG’s exclusion of Michael D. Dinkel, the owner and President of a diagnostic imaging company. Dinkel has been excluded from participation in all Federal health care programs for a period of eight years.
The OIG has the authority to exclude individuals and entities from Federal health care programs for presenting or causing to be presented claims for items or services that the individual or entity knows or should know where not provided as claimed, or are otherwise false or fraudulent.
According to the OIG’s press release, Dinkel and his company, Drew Medical, Inc., submitted approximately 9,500 false claims worth $1.6 million to the Medicare and Medicaid programs for services related to venography, a radiology procedure. The OIG found that no venography services had actually been performed. Instead, claims were submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for a corresponding procedural code for MRI and CT procedures with contrast. Prior to Dinkel’s exclusion, a $1,147,564 civil False Claims Act settlement had been entered into with Dinkel and his company.
The ALJ found that Dinkel had a duty “to understand Medicare and Medicaid billing requirements and apply them scrupulously to the claims that he caused to be presented.” Furthermore, Dinkel’s failure to ensure his company properly claimed reimbursement “constituted reckless indifference to the propriety of the claims he cause to be presented.”
The ALJ’s full decision is available by request from the OIG.