Friday, May 24, 2013
FREEPORT — An osteopathic physician based in Freeport has agreed to pay $321,443 to settle claims involving what prosecutors are calling "false billings" to federal health care programs.
U. S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced Monday that Peter M. File, an osteopathic physician with offices in Freeport and Alexandria, Va., has agreed to pay back money he billed Medicare and Tricare for services he rendered.
Medicare provides health insurance primarily to disabled and elderly Americans. Tricare provides civilian health benefits to military personnel, military retirees and their dependents.
The government's civil complaint alleges that File violated the federal False Claims Act between October 2004 and June 2011 by billing those programs for osteopathic services that were not eligible for payment under Medicare or Tricare.
In its civil suit, the government states that any services billed must be medically necessary. Providers must also provide documentation showing the medical necessity of a service.
File's attorneys, Janet Mills and John Doyle of PretiFlaherty in Portland, issued a statement late Monday night.
Mills and Doyle said File is known as a "caring, competent and compassionate physician, who is regarded with esteem, integrity, and affection by his patients."
They said File's holistic approach to medicine has kept patients "comfortable, employable, and productive after they came to him when other treatments have failed."
"None of the issues in the government's complaint have to do with patient satisfaction or patient complaints. The issues in this case, rather, relate to complex federal regulations dealing with coding, recordkeeping, and documentation," his attorneys said.
The statement goes on to say that File fully cooperated with the government and that he admits no liability. He consented to the settlement agreement to avoid protracted litigation and to better serve his patients.
Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: