Manchester doctor to pay $285k for false claims

CONCORD – A Manchester physician has agreed to pay $285,000 in civil damages and penalties to settle allegations that he violated federal laws and regulations by filing false claims to Medicare for patient services in the late 1990s while practicing in Bedford, officials from the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a prepared statement.

Dr. Raphael Farra, agreed to the settlement after investigators from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General conducted a review of all nursing home visit reimbursement claims filed with Medicare by Farra between 1995-1998, officials said.

During that time, Farra had a medical office practice in Bedford that focused on care for the aging, officials said.

According the statement, investigators allegedly discovered claims containing false, incomplete or misleading information, which disqualified them for payment.

Federal officials also alleged that Farra submitted claims to Medicare for 45-170 patient visits on a single day at area nursing homes that were allegedly false and resulted in a Medicare overpayment of at least $133,000, the statement said.

The federal complaint was filed under the false claims act, which allows federal officials to recover civil penalties of up to $11,000 for each false claim, and permits the court to triple the amount of actual damages caused by the false claim, officials said.

In addition to the monetary damages, Farra has agreed to enter into a compliance agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the Medicare program, setting conditions on Farra’s continued participation in the Medicare program for the next five years, U.S. officials said.