Baton Rouge, Louisiana - A Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based doctor pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in a scheme to receive approximately $336,000 in illegal health care kickback payments.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin of the Middle District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Eric J. Rommal of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office made the announcement.
Gray Wesley Barrow, M.D., 58, of Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 1, 2019 by U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson of the Middle District of Louisiana, who accepted his plea today.
Barrow was a co-owner of Louisiana Spine & Sports LLC, a pain management clinic located in Baton Rouge. According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Barrow agreed to send urine specimens collected from his patients to a drug testing laboratory in return for a percentage of the reimbursements paid to the laboratory by health care benefit programs, including Medicare. As part of his plea, Barrow admitted that from approximately April 2014 through July 2016, he sent specimens collected from his patients to the drug testing laboratory and received approximately $336,000 in disbursements from the laboratory associated with testing for Medicare beneficiaries.
HHS-OIG and FBI investigated the case. Assistant Chief Dustin M. Davis and Trial Attorney Justin M. Woodard of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth E. White of the Middle District of Louisiana are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 14 strike forces operating in 23 districts, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion.