Cash Photo Source: TFP File Photo

Former Panama City Doctor Settles False Claims, Controlled Substances Lawsuit For $550,000

Cash Photo Source: TFP File Photo
Cash Photo Source: TFP File Photo

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Dr. Mustafa A. Hammad, a former neurologist and pain management physician practicing in Panama City, has agreed to a $550,000 consent judgment to settle a lawsuit filed by the United States under the False Claims Act and the Controlled Substances Act.

The lawsuit alleged that Dr. Hammad, who practiced at the NeuroMedical Institute (NMI), engaged in fraudulent billing practices within federal healthcare programs and violated the Controlled Substances Act.

The lawsuit alleged that Hammad established medical centers in Palestine and Israel in approximately 2017 and has resided outside the United States since approximately September 2019.

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 The United States alleged that Hammad conducted and interpreted approximately 582 sleep studies while he was physically located outside the United States and thereafter billed the Medicare and Medicaid programs for such services in violation of the FCA. The United States also alleged that Hammad issued multiple prescriptions on dates he was physically outside the United States in violation of the CSA.  

Finally, the United States alleged that Hammad also billed the Government for approximately 4,787 additional services allegedly performed at NMI while he was physically outside the United States in violation of the FCA.

“Doctors, like Hammad, who falsify prescriptions and medical records increase the likelihood of prescription misuse and abuse,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “This consent judgement demonstrates our resolve to hold those accountable who misuse their DEA Registration.”

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U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody emphasized the significance of this resolution, stating, “This lawsuit and resolution demonstrate our resolve to hold physicians accountable for the blatant fraudulent billing of our federal health care programs.”

“Together, with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to defend the fiscal integrity of federal healthcare programs. This agreement results in the return of fraud proceeds to the American taxpayers and through the surrender of his DEA registration, ensures the defendant’s fraudulent billing practices have come to an end,” Coody added.

The False Claims Act is a powerful tool that allows the government to recover funds lost due to fraud against federal programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. The Controlled Substances Act regulates the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances, aiming to prevent their abuse and misuse.

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