Oklahoma medical news in brief

Oklahoma medical news in brief
Published: June 24, 2012
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MEDICAL NOTES

Health authority, doctor to pay $1.5M in fraud case

A southwestern Oklahoma Health Care Authority and doctor have agreed to pay about $1.5 million to settle claims of health care fraud, according to a recent news release.

The Harmon County Healthcare Authority and Dr. Akram R. Abraham, of Hollis, have agreed to pay $1,550,000 to settle claims of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, according to a news release from Sanford Coats, United States attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, and Scott Pruitt, state attorney general.

The settlement concludes a lawsuit brought under the whistle-blower provisions of the federal False Claims Act and the Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act. From July 1, 2001, through May 30, 2008, Harmon County Healthcare and Authority and Abraham allegedly violated the False Claims Act and the Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act by submitting claims, or causing claims to be submitted, to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, according to a news release. These claims allegedly violated the federal “Stark” regulations and Anti-Kickback Statute.

In the settlement, the health care authority agreed to pay $550,000, and Abraham agreed to pay $1,000,000 to resolve the claims.

Study finds obesity in American Indian children

A five-year study of schoolchildren in Anadarko found that American Indian students are more likely than white children to be overweight, obese or very obese, putting them at greater risk for chronic disease.

The study by University of Oklahoma College of Public Health researchers compared children by race who live and attend schools in the same rural environment. While the American Indian students had the highest rates of being overweight and obese, the white students struggled as well, with higher rates than national averages.

The study was conducted from 2005 to 2009 and involved students in kindergarten through 5th grade.

Dental, vision volunteers sought

Remote Area Medical Oklahoma needs volunteers, particularly in the dental and vision professions, to help with its second free health care weekend on Aug. 25-26.



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