From Department of Justice
NASHVILLE – A federal grand jury in Nashville on Monday returned a nine-count indictment, charging an Ashland City, Tennessee, physician in a telemedicine conspiracy to defraud Medicare of more than $41 million, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee.
John R. Manning, 61, faces charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and eight counts of health care fraud. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation in which the United States seeks to recover all property, including a money judgement, that represents the proceeds of the violations. Manning was arrested Tuesday at his home by federal agents.
The indictment alleges that Manning worked for various telemedicine companies that arranged for physicians to prescribe a variety of durable medical equipment (DME), topical creams, and Cancer Genomic (CGx) testing for Medicare beneficiaries. Manning and his co-conspirators sought to enrich themselves by paying and receiving kickbacks and bribes in exchange for signed doctors’ orders and prescriptions for DME, topical creams, and CGx testing, and submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for such services and treatments that were not medically necessary and not eligible for reimbursement.
The indictment further alleges that Manning electronically signed doctors’ orders without having established a patient/doctor relationship as required, and issued orders and prescriptions based on only a brief telephonic conversation, or often no conversation at all, and without seeing or physically examining the patient, and without regard for medical necessity. The indictment also alleges that the telemedicine companies paid Manning a fee “per visit,” constituting illegal
kickbacks and bribes in exchange for signing doctors’ orders and prescriptions.
If convicted, Manning faces up to 10 years in prison on each count.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services-Office of Inspector General and the FBI, with the assistance of the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Levine and Trial Attorney Leslie Fisher of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.