Spine surgeon gets 10-year prison sentence for healthcare fraud

Alan Condon -   Print  |

The owner of Texas Center for Orthopedic and Spinal Disorders in Fort Worth was sentenced Feb. 25 to 10 years in prison for his role in a $10 million healthcare fraud scheme.

Mark Kuper, MD, admitted to conspiring with his wife and a physical therapist at his practice to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare, according to the Department of Justice.

The DOJ said Dr. Kuper billed insurers for services the clinic never performed, including physical therapy and psychotherapy, and required patients to attend sham appointments to get prescriptions for controlled substances.

Many times, Dr. Kuper billed for more than 100 hours' work he said he provided in a single day, said the DOJ.

Furthermore, the surgeon and his wife accidentally burned down their $1.6 million house after burning medical records in an attempt to destroy evidence of the fraudulent claims. His wife also tried to hide evidence by altering treatment notes in electronic patient records, according to the DOJ.

In September, Dr. Kuper's wife and the physical therapist involved in the scheme pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. They received 18-month and 36-month prison terms respectively.

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