WESTFIELD, NJ — A Westfield doctor accused of submitting millions of dollars in false claims to Medicare and Medicaid has agreed to pay $5.25 million to the government in a settlement, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Friday.
Dr. Labib Riachi’s Lawyer, Bruce Levy, issued a statement Friday afternoon.
“Dr. Riachi is pleased to reach a resolution and to put this matter behind him for an amount significantly less than the damages the government was seeking in its complaint and without any admission of wrongdoing,” Levy wrote. “Dr. Riachi never knowingly submitted false claims and always acted in the best interests of his patients. The procedures at issue were billed at the direction of a medical device manufacturer that provided diagnostic testing and therapy equipment to Dr. Riachi along with directions and instructions for billing these services.
“Four years ago, as soon as the issues relating to billing for these services were brought to his attention, Dr. Riachi immediately ceased billing for the services and offered to return every penny he was paid in connection with these claims. Dr. Riachi has been fully cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office during the course of its investigation. He settled this matter to avoid the additional legal and defense costs in what was already a four-year investigation.
"Dr. Riachi is a highly accomplished Board Certified Urogynecologist and has treated thousands of patients over the years, included hundreds of charity care patients each year, making available cutting-edge treatments to the poor and underserved population in and around Elizabeth, New Jersey. He remains focused and devoted to his mission of treating and providing the highest quality care to his patients.”
No criminal charges were ever filed.
In a civil complaint, the U.S. Attorney’s office alleged that Riachi routinely billed Medicare and Medicaid for anorectal manometry, an invasive diagnostic test, and electromyography, another diagnostic test, even though most of the tests were never performed. In addition, it claimed that the Riachi’s submitted claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that should not have been paid because they were not performed by a qualified therapist.
Riachi has said that the billing issue was caused by an incorrect insurance code given to him by the maker of a therapeutic device used at his office.