Seeing Double

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Eye charts are used to determine visual acuity. If you’re having trouble making out the letters and numbers when viewed from a distance, your eye sight needs to be corrected. But as reported by the Palm Beach Post, a personal assistant who worked in a Florida eye doctor’s office had her eyes open wide and clearly saw that her employer was bilking Medicare out of about $1 million to finance her double life. (I’m guessing the tiny type on the bottom line of this doctor’s eye chart spelled out F-R-A-U-D.)

It’s possible that this particular eye doctor was bored with her day job. (That might explain her moonlighting as a pop star singer known as Anyya Von Kitten.)

The doctor’s personal assistant suspected that the diva doctor used her patients’ Medicare reimbursements to support her lavish lifestyle, which included multiple homes, cars, regular attendance at night club events and the pursuit of a second career as a night club singer.

The article states that the doctor visited patients at nursing homes or assisted living centers and often provided her patients with procedures that were unnecessary. (She commonly used incorrect billing codes to charge Medicare for procedures at a higher rate than allowed.) The eye doctor also claimed that she completed some of the services at her office, when she was actually out of the country on travel.

The moonlighting pop star singer agreed to pay $1 million in a settlement for overbilling the government health care benefits program. Because her former assistant blew the whistle on her boss’s fraudulent activity, she will receive $200,000 for her efforts. (That will certainly reward the assistant for her honesty and encourage others to report fraud when they see it.)

As for the eye doctor, it remains to be seen whether or not she will be allowed to continue her practice. She may be forced to pursue a full-time career as a pop star singer. (Let’s just hope she changes her tune.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Lake Worth eye doctor to settle Medicare fraud claim for $1 million,” published by The Palm Beach Post on September 1, 2016.

LAKE WORTH — A Lake Worth eye doctor who moonlights as a pop singer has agreed to pay $1 million to settle claims that she overbilled Medicare, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Dr. Monique Barbour — also known as singer Anayya Von Kitten — and her company Clear Vue Eye Center will pay $1 million to resolve allegations that she billed Medicare patient too much for visits at nursing homes and assisted-living centers. In some cases, Barbour billed for procedures she purportedly performed at the eye-care center when she was actually out of the country.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.