Morris Barnard, 58, is a medical doctor practicing Great Neck, New York, United States. From October 2015 through February 2020, he submitted more than $3 million in billings to Medicare for colonoscopy and gastroenterological procedures.
But none of the procedures were performed. Most of the billings indicated that the services were rendered to disabled beneficiaries living in residential group homes.
Medicare reimbursed approximately $1.4 million of the false claims. Barnard was not entitled to receive any of the claims.
On March 7, 2022, Barnard pleaded guilty to health care fraud in connection with billing Medicare for millions of dollars for medical procedures that were never actually performed. The proceeding was held in federal court in Central Islip, New York before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields.
According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) special agent-in-charge Scott Lampert, Barnard’s actions diverted scarce taxpayer funds from the Medicare program “for personal enrichment while taking advantage of vulnerable individuals. Lampert added that HHS-OIG will continue to make sure that “providers that bill federally funded health care programs do so in an honest manner.”
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) currently administers Medicare. The U.S. government national health insurance program started in 1965 under the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Medicare provides health insurance for U.S. citizens aged 65 and older and younger people with disability status as determined by the SSA. In 2020, the U.S. federal government spent $776.2 billion on the health insurance program.