The so-called "Rock Doc" who pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicare of $2.6 million through bogus physical therapy services has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.
In addition to the billing fraud, Christopher Gregory Wayne, 54, of Miami Beach, Florida, also admitted to illegally prescribing controlled substances and has been ordered to repay Medicare about $1.65 million. The sentencing, which occurred on June 13, was reported in the Wall Street Journal and Miami Herald, among other outlets.
Wayne was the subject of a 2010 WSJ front-page article that tracked nearly $1.2 million in payments from Medicare, mostly for "physical therapy" that was not provided by licensed physical therapists—or not provided at all. The family physician earned his nickname thanks in part to his high-profile lifestyle and punk appearance, complete with spiked blond hair.
According to the Herald article, Wayne told the judge at his sentencing hearing that the billing abuse "was not intentional or malicious." Instead, Wayne claimed that he was simply unaware of 2008 Medicare changes that required his employees to be licensed PTs.
The headline-making nature of Wayne's crimes underscores the importance of maintaining a strong professional understanding of fraud, abuse, and waste. APTA's Integrity in Practice campaign supports physical therapy's high practice standards by helping PTs understand regulations and payment systems, and putting them in touch with tools and resources that promote evidence-based practice, ethics, and professionalism.
Check out the latest addition to the Integrity in Practice webpage: Preventing Fraud, Abuse, and Waste: A Primer for Physical Therapists (.pdf) is a free guide that examines not only the laws around these issues but the ways in which PTs can avoid fraud, abuse, and waste with payers, referral sources, and patients.
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