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Freeport doctor agrees to pay more than $321K for improper billing

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Freeport doctor agrees to pay more than $321K for improper billing

PORTLAND — A doctor has agreed to pay the federal government more than $300,000 to settle claims that he improperly billed federal health-care programs.

Dr. Peter M. File, an osteopathic physician with offices in Freeport and Alexandria, Va., agreed to pay $321,443, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II.

The United States filed a civil complaint on Sept. 28 alleging that File violated the federal False Claims Act between October 2005 and June 2011 by billing Medicare and TRICARE for providing osteopathic manipulative treatment, evaluation and management services to patients in violation of applicable Medicare billing guidelines, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Medicare provides health insurance primarily to disabled and elderly Americans. TRICARE provides civilian health benefits to military personnel, military retirees and their dependents.

The federal prosecutor alleged that File submitted nearly $316,000 in false claims to Medicare and TRICARE. The complaint sought damages equaling the full amount of the false claims, along with $5,500 in statutory penalties. File cooperated in the investigation, according to the press release.

File’s lawyers said in a statement that the complaint was the result of “complex federal regulations” and had nothing to do with patient care or safety. File admitted no liability and settled the case to avoid a lengthy and costly legal process, the lawyers said.