- Policy & Research
- About KHI
May 22, 2012
WICHITA A Wichita cardiologist, Dr. Roger W. Evans, and his company, EECP Heart Center of Kansas, Inc. have agreed to pay the federal government $1.5 million to settle allegations that they submitted false claims to the Medicare program, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced today.
Evans, 73, operated several clinics across Kansas and provided enhanced counterpulsation therapy, an in-patient service for the treatment of coronary artery disease.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Attorney Office for the District of Kansas alleged that between July 2005 and June 2009, Evans submitted Medicare claims for services when he was not present at the clinics and did not provide direct supervision of the procedures as required by Medicare.
“Today’s settlement demonstrates our continuing commitment to protect the integrity of the Medicare program, both by assuring appropriate care to beneficiaries and by recovering improperly paid funds,” Grissom said.
According to the terms of the agreement, Evans and his company did not admit any wrongdoing.
The Kansas City Star on Monday reported that Evans said he was not aware he was required to be present during each treatment.
“My mistake was not asking an attorney,” he told The Star when asked about the charges. “… The interpretation of the laws has changed several times about who has to be present. We did all of ours in hospitals — always where there were physicians.”
The treatments, he said, were administered under the direct supervision of registered nurses at clinics in Wichita, Great Bend, Liberal and Neodesha. He closed the clinics in May 2010 after the Office of the Inspector General began its investigation.
Evans told The Star that he’d paid the $1.5 million settlement Friday after refinancing properties and draining savings accounts. His age and the health of his wife played a role in his decision, he said.
During enhanced counterpulsation therapy, a patient’s calves, thighs and buttocks are wrapped in a series of compressive air cuffs that inflate and deflate in synchronization with the patient’s cardiac cycle. The cuffs compress blood vessels in the calves and thighs to increase blood flow and improve cardiac function.
The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy making environment. Find more about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at (785) 783-2529.