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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces $500,000 “Operation You’ve Got Nerve” Settlement

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that he reached a $500,000 settlement to resolve allegations that Dr. Kwadwo Gyarteng-Dakwa and the HEAG Pain Management Center, PA of Durham, with additional offices in Greensboro, Greenville, and Archdale, submitted false claims to Medicaid and Medicare. Today’s settlement is part of Operation You’ve Got Nerve, an ongoing effort by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Investigations Division (MID) to find and take action against providers billing Medicaid fraudulently for nervous system testing.

“Health care providers cannot administer unnecessary tests to rip off the Medicaid program,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Operation You’ve Got Nerve has won back more than $850,000 for North Carolina taxpayers, and my office will continue our work to hold accountable those who commit Medicaid fraud and waste resources.”

Between January 2011 and October 2016, the defendants allegedly submitted false or fraudulent claims for nerve conduction studies (NCS) when the testing services were not medically reasonable or necessary. As a result, they were reimbursed for funds that they were not entitled to.

The federal and North Carolina False Claims Acts authorize the governments to recover triple the money falsely obtained, plus substantial civil penalties for each false claim submitted. It should be noted that the civil claims resolved by settlement here are allegations only, and that there has been no judicial determination or admission of liability. The defendants have also entered into an integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The investigation and prosecution of this case was conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina and the Medicaid Investigations Division of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

This is the third settlement Attorney General Stein has reached as part of Operation You’ve Got Nerve – he also previously reached a $300,000 settlement and a $60,000 settlement with other providers.

About the Medicaid Investigations Division (MID)

The Attorney General’s MID investigates and prosecutes health care providers that defraud the Medicaid program, patient abuse of Medicaid recipients, patient abuse of any patient in facilities that receive Medicaid funding, and misappropriation of any patients’ private funds in nursing homes that receive Medicaid funding. To date, the MID has recovered more than $900 million in restitution and penalties for North Carolina. To report Medicaid fraud or patient abuse in North Carolina, call the MID at 919-881-2320.

The MID receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $6,160,252 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2020. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $2,053,414 for FY 2020, is funded by the State of North Carolina.

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