Former orthopedic clinic, owners pay $7.1M settlement over alleged unnecessary knee injections, braces: 4 details


Seven former Osteo Relief Institutes and their owners will pay millions of dollars to settle fraud allegations.

Four things to know:

1. Osteo Relief Institutes will pay $7.1 million to the United States to resolve False Claims Act violation allegations that the centers knowingly billed Medicare for unnecessary knee procedures and braces.

2. ORI clinics in Phoenix, San Diego, Lexington, Ky., Wall Township, N.J., Dallas and San Antonio will pay $6 million collectively to settle the allegations. The chain's location in Colorado Springs, Colo., will pay $1.13 million to resolve its role in the alleged scheme.

3. The allegations were brought against ORI as part of a qui tam lawsuit, and the whistleblower received $857,550.

4. The government accused physicians at the clinics of performing unnecessary viscosupplementation to treat osteoarthritis. In addition to the unnecessary injections, ORI allegedly used discounted viscosupplements that had been reimported from foreign countries. The treatment requires physicians to inject a gel-like fluid into the patient's knee. It also reported the clinics provided custom knee braces to patients without medical necessity.

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