(STL.News) – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Nava K. Nawaz, M.D. of Mechanicsburg, PA has agreed to pay the United States $850,000 to resolve allegations that she submitted fraudulent travel claims to the Medicare program. As part of the settlement, Dr. Nawaz has also agreed not to seek or be an owner or operator of a laboratory for the next 18-months.
According to U.S. Attorney David J. Freed, Dr. Nawaz used her laboratory company Perll Diagnostics, Inc. to defraud Medicare by submitting over 23,000 false and inflated travel reimbursement claims for specimen collection and testing between 2014 and 2017. In doing so, the government contends that Dr. Nawaz misrepresented the distances traveled by Perll’s lab technicians and wrongly obtained taxpayer dollars for travel that never occurred.
“Our office has zero tolerance for those who invent or inflate Medicare reimbursement claims,” said U.S. Attorney Freed. “We will continue to use all available tools, including the civil remedies of the False Claims Act, to protect our seniors and safeguard the Medicare Trust Fund.”
“Incorrect billing of taxpayer-funded health care programs, such as Medicare, diverts funding from the necessary treatment and care beneficiaries need,” said Maureen R. Dixon, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify fraudulent activities and protect funding for our government health care programs.”
The settlement agreement is neither an admission of liability by Dr. Nawaz nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.
This matter was investigated and handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel S. Dalke and D. Brian Simpson, with assistance from the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.