Kevin Krause, Federal Courts Reporter / Photo: (Jae S. Lee/Staff Photographer)
While federal prosecutors in Dallas prepare for upcoming health care fraud trials, the FBI and other investigators are continuing to raid more medical businesses, looking for evidence of illegal kickbacks.
Last week, the FBI searched the Dallas offices of Next Health, which owned a network of testing labs and pharmacies. Next Health is already facing fraud allegations from insurance giant United Healthcare, which claims the company gave people gift cards to urinate in cups in Whataburger bathrooms.
The FBI also searched the offices of Critical Health Care Management, which agents say took over Next Health’s operations.
Andrew Hillman and Semyon Narosov, who allegedly control both businesses, are charged with health care fraud in an unrelated federal case in Dallas involving the defunct Forest Park Medical Center.
Next Health is one of several Dallas-area health care businesses that are currently the subject of federal indictments and investigations. The recent raids indicate the government is not done cracking down on testing labs and compounding pharmacies, which have been a focus of kickback investigations nationwide for the past few years.
Michael McCaslin, a Dallas FBI agent, said during a July 24 court hearing that the bureau is looking at whether Next Health paid kickbacks to doctors for referring patients to the company’s pharmacies.
The agent also said Next Health is suspected of using animal drugs in its pharmacies and manipulating ingredients to overcharge insurance companies.
McCaslin said doctors invested in Next Health’s pharmacies and were paid kickbacks in the form of dividends that in some cases were tied to the volume of their referrals.
“You had to be prescribing or else you’d be asked to leave,” the agent said.
McCaslin’s testimony was given during a detention hearing for Hillman and Narosov, who were recently arrested on drug distribution charges related to a marijuana dispensary they allegedly owned in Los Angeles.
An attorney for Next Health did not respond to requests for comment about the raids and FBI investigation.