Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist announced a half-million-dollar settlement in a Medicaid fraud lawsuit filed against a Pasco County physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. The parties agreed to settle for triple the actual damages suffered by the State of Florida, or $577,618.
Dr. Thomas J. Armbruster and his practice, West Pasco Obstetrics and Gynecology Center P.A., allegedly billed Medicaid from September 1999 to December 2001 using Armbruster’s physician provider number for services provided by nurse midwives. These services included billings for expensive high-risk deliveries at Spring Hill and Oak Hill Hospitals.
In fact, Armbruster had reportedly billed Medicaid for a higher level of care than the patients actually received, in addition to indicating that a physician had performed the deliveries. The improper billings violate Medicaid guidelines, nurses’ hospital privileges and Florida law.
The Attorney General’s Office began investigating the case in October 2001 after it was referred by the Agency for Health Care Administration following that organization’s preliminary investigation.
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