Sleep doctor settles overbilling claim

Yakima Herald-RepublicJanuary 8, 2014 

— The operator of sleep clinics in Yakima and the Tri-Cities has reached a settlement with state and federal regulators over claims that he overbilled for services.

Michael Ormsby, the U.S. attorney for Eastern Washington, announced the settlement on Tuesday.

Federal and state attorneys handling the civil proceeding alleged that Dr. Abhijit Deshpande and his clinics incorrectly billed the Medicaid program between 2009 and 2011.

The government alleged that Deshpande’s operations billed for services that were not provided by a licensed doctor and billed for services that were not provided by Deshpande, not provided in the United States or were double-billed.

The settlement amount of nearly $90,000 is twice the disputed dollar figure.

Deshpande could have faced much greater penalties if the government had pursued a lawsuit under the False Claim Act, Ormsby said in a news release.

The clinics were the Yakima Sleep Center and the Pinnacle Sleep & Wake Disorder Center in Kennewick. Both operated as part of Deshpande’s umbrella company, Pinnacle Health Care.

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