The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the US Department of Health and Human Services was entitled to recover $311,263 in claims filed by Florida Medical Center of Clearwater, Inc. (FMC). FMC had argued that the government suffered no loss or injury as a result of the claims and that repayment of the claims would constitute an excessive fine, which is barred by the Eighth Amendment.
The court sided with HHS, stating that the amount was simply a recovery of losses, and not a fine.
Dr. Surindar S. Bedi was president and majority owner of FMC, despite being subject to a 10 year exclusion from Medicare due to a previous violation. FMC's application to CMS did not disclose Bedi's affiliation. The court ruled that CMS was allowed to recover the payments not because of Bedi's standing, but because FMC's application omitted information about Bedi in its application.
This case emphasizes the importance of checking the Medicare Exclusion list to ensure that providers are in good standing, and that appropriate disclosures are made, should a provider be found on this list.