Windermere Eye Doctor Faces Eye Opening Prison Term in $7M Medicare Fraud Case

Monday, February 8, 2016
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

A Windermere ophthalmologist charged with intentionally misdiagnosing patients and performing unnecessary surgery headed for trial in Federal Court on Tuesday. According to prosecutors, Dr. David Ming Pon, with Advanced Retina Eye Institute in Leesburg and Orlando, is charged with 20 counts of Medicare fraud.

This case is being tried in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.


Fake Treatments for Patients.

Dr. Pon is a retina surgeon as well as a board certified ophthalmologist. Prosecutors say he lied to 250 patients, telling them they had a degenerative eye disease, then performed unnecessary laser eye treatments. This prompted Medicare to pay more than $7 million allegedly for medical treatment that was not necessary. One of his former patients, James Allen, told the Orlando Sentinel that Dr. Pon gave him monthly laser treatments for 14 years. After switching eye doctors he discovered that he didn’t have macular degeneration at all, the medical condition for which he was being treated by Dr. Pon. “Each of those treatments was a fake,” Allen is reported to have said. To find out more about Medicare fraud and the consequences, click here to read a past blog on this.


The Doctor is in.


Pon is still in practice and still seeing patients despite a federal grand jury indictment in April 2014. He was jailed but released several months later.

Federal Agents seized paperwork from his office three years ago; when Pon allegedly refused to repay a $7 million demand for repayment, Federal authorities took the case to a federal grand jury. The trial is expected to last three weeks. To read more about this case, click here.

Pon could be facing more than 100 years in prison. For more information on Dr. Pon, visit the Florida Board of Medicine website.  To read a press release the Department of Justice released about National Medicare Fraud, click here.


Comments?

Have you ever been a victim or suspect of Medicaid fraud? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.


Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Handling Medicaid Audits, Investigations and other Legal Proceedings.


The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent retina surgeons and ophthalmologists on many different legal issues.

Medicaid fraud is a serious crime and is vigorously investigated by the state MFCU, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), the Zone Program Integrity Contractors (ZPICs), the FBI, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Often other state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and other law enforcement agencies participate. Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you are concerned of any possible violations and would like a confidential consultation, contact a qualified health attorney familiar with medical billing and audits today. Often Medicaid fraud criminal charges arise out of routine Medicaid audits, probe audits, or patient complaints.

The Health Law Firm’s attorneys routinely represent physicians, dentists, orthodontists, medical groups, clinics, pharmacies, assisted living facilities (ALFs), home health care agencies, nursing homes, group homes and other healthcare providers in Medicaid and Medicare investigations, audits and recovery actions. To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Sources:


Stutzman, Rene. “Windermere eye doctor headed for trial in $7M Medicare fraud case.”
(September 6, 2015). Orlando Sentinel. Print.

“Windermere doctor to go on trial Tuesday on Medicare fraud charges.” (September 7, 2015). WFTV. From: http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/windermere-doctor-go-trial-tuesday-medicare-fraud-/nnZff/

Washington Examiner. “Florida Eye Doctor Held Without Bail in Fraud Case.” Associated Press. (May 6, 2014). From: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/florida-eye-doctor-held-without-bail-in-fraud-case/article/2548119


About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.



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2/8/2016

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